Seahawk pitcher organizes bone marrow drive

Seahawk pitcher organizes bone marrow drive

News release from UNCW:

WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW baseball team, led by freshman relief pitcher Clay Lockamon, is looking to add another victory in the win column. This time, over cancer.

The UNCW Baseball Bone Marrow Drive, hosted by the Seahawks and administrated by "Be The Match," will be held Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m. when UNCW takes on Colonial Athletic Association rival William & Mary at Brooks Field.

The drive will benefit individuals diagnosed with life threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. "Be The Match" is the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. The registry seeks to help save the lives of patients in need of a transplant.

Lockamon originated the idea for the event. A native of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., Lockamon played at Roanoke Rapids High School and spent time last summer with the Martinsville Mustangs of the Coastal Plain League.

The concept of having a bone marrow drive peaked Lockamon's interest after a close friend, Ronnie Deloach, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in December. Deloach is the father of former UNCW pitcher and Anaheim Angels

minor leaguer Tyler Deloach.

"After Mr. Deloach was diagnosed, my best friend Carson Arthur and I thought of hosting a drive at a baseball game to help add more people to the registry," said Lockamon. "By adding more people to the registry, it gives others like Mr. Deloach a better chance at finding a match for a donor."

Arthur was actually the recipient of a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Kallie, nearly 12 years ago. He recently began to work with the "Be The Match" foundation and coordinates the "Be The Match" campus organization at UNC Chapel Hill.

"Having this drive was an opportunity for both of us to organize a drive together, which supports the cause of something that has affected both of us," Lockamon said.

The "Be The Match" registration table will be located under the awning behind the press box at Brooks Field. Registration will be taken one hour prior to the 2 p.m. first pitch and throughout the game.

"Our hope for the UNCW Baseball Bone Marrow Drive is to have as many people as possible join the registry," Lockamon said. "The more people added, the better chance we have of helping those like Mr. Deloach and Carson find a life-saving marrow match."

A 5K event will also be held earlier in the day at the Harold Greene Track & Field Complex to benefit the cause. All proceeds will go to the family of Savannah Radebaugh, who is battling Fanconi anemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Registration for the walk/race begins at 7:45 a.m. for the 9 a.m. start.