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UA comes from behind to defeat ASU in blood drive

By Rachael Myer
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 27, 1999
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UA students rallied late last week to defeat ASU for the ninth time in the 13-year history of the Red Cross blood drive competition.

By Saturday's cut-off date, officials from the American Red Cross had collected 206 more pints of blood from University of Arizona students than from Arizona State University students.

"I think it got off to a rocky start and then they came out in droves by the end of the week and really pulled it off," said Brian Green, a Red Cross representative.

Members of the UA community donated 1,361 pints of blood compared to ASU's 1,155 pints. Last year the UA defeated ASU 1,425 to 923 - a difference of 502 pints.

The Red Cross was in "critical" need of O-positive and O-negative blood during last week's competition. Green said his agency still needs about 62 to 100 more pints of O-negative blood and about 150 more pints of O-positive.

"It's better," he said. "Its still not up to the standards we would like to see."

Organizers of the UA donations also focused on finding a bone marrow match for 9-year-old Shelly Rovero of Tucson, who has leukemia.

Suzanne Towell, a coordinator for the National Marrow Donor Program, said they will know in a few weeks if a match was found for Rovero, who needs a specific match for her ethnicity.

Towell said about 40 UA students were tested for bone marrow compatibility during last week's competition, which is down significantly from last year's number of 175.

She said less minority donors participated in the bone marrow testing this year. She estimated about 55 percent of this year's participants were minorities, compared with about 80 percent last year.

This, she said, could hurt Rovero's chances of finding a suitable donor.

"Minority patients don't have the same opportunities to find a match as Caucasians," Towell said.

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