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Caroline Casey Saves a Life Through Marrow Donation

On October 17 Rhode Island women’s volleyball player Caroline Casey ’15 became the fifth member of the URI Athletics family to complete a bone marrow donation to save the life of a stranger. She joined football players Matt ’15 and John Greenhalgh ’16, former rower Grace Rignanese ’12, and assistant football coach Ryan Mattison, all of whom have been marrow matches in the last three years.

Overall, there have been 10 marrow matches identified in the URI community through the football team’s annual bone marrow drives in the last five years. Of the 39 collegiate teams that hold annual registration drives on behalf of the Be the Match Foundation, only Yale (12) has found more matches than Rhode Island.

Casey’s marrow went to a 32-year-old woman from the United States. While she can send the woman anonymous letters, she has to wait a year before possibly meeting the woman, and even then, it will be the recipient’s choice.

“It’s cool to be a part of it,” said Casey, who registered as a potential marrow match in the spring of her freshman year. “The impact of the football team holding this drive is impressive. I think it keeps us going as a community. Now that I have gone through it, if I can be an advocate and help other people who might be struggling with the decision of whether to go through with it, I am excited to do that.”

“Sports are obviously our passion, but it is not life,” Casey said. “There is more to life than sports, especially when you are talking about giving someone else the opportunity of life.”

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