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Penn State lacrosse community bonds to support parent seeking bone marrow transplant in fight against Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Tuesday, 23rd October 2012

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Girl's/Women's  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 10/23/12

The Penn State lacrosse community has banded to help Kim Roper – mother of senior midfielder Drew Roper – in her fight against Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Neither radiation therapy nor chemotherapy has successfully controlled Kim’s cancer. She now needs a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, there currently is no bone marrow match for Kim in the National Registry.

Kim has no siblings and is dependent on the National Registry to find a donor match and needs to a match as soon as possible.

It is easy to see if you are a potential match for Kim or for any one of the hundreds of people who need a life-saving bone marrow transplant. All it takes is a few minutes of your time and a few cotton swabs.

Kim has a website that explains the process of finding a donor in more detail at

The PSU Lacrosse community has reached out to its contacts to see what can be done to spread the word of Kim’s fight. The Villanova, North Carolina and UMBC lacrosse communities, among others, have agreed to be part of the testing process.

Locally, the HEADstrong Foundation has helped in support. Many other colleges have shown interest. The goal is to find a match for Kim, but also to find for matches for others in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Drew Roper informed his teammate that his mother – who had twice before beaten the Lymphoma – had been diagnosed for a third time only two weeks ago. Since that time, the Match4Kim website (launched Oct. 15) has received tens of thousands of hits and news of the bone marrow drive has spread quickly through word of mouth and social media as well as through major media such as Inside Lacrosse, and NBC4 in State College.

“We have been trying to get the information out ever since we found out,” said Penn State junior defenseman Ryan Mullen, a Hatboro-Horsham graduate. “Not just for Mrs. Roper, but for anyone (that needs a match).

“We knew she had cancer in the past, but we didn’t know it was this serious until Drew walked into the locker room and let us know. It (the push) has been flying ever since.

“Obviously, it hit our team hard. Knowing Mrs. Roper and how awesome the family is, this means a lot to our team, I don’t think we have ever been so together.”

Mullen said he is warmed by the support around the Penn State community and beyond.
“I have never seen anything go this quick before,” he said. “We know somebody can save a life for somebody we know personally.

“This weekend when the football team plays at Ohio State they are going to push the Match4Kim site, other colleges are getting involved and it’s all over Twitter (@match4kim). Guys have it on their backgrounds. It’s pretty phenomenal how fast the word is getting out and how everyone is responding to help us out.”

Added junior attackman Steve Aitken, a Haverford School graduate, “We had high hopes when Drew told the team. But it’s all happening so quickly. It’s a domino effect and it’s great that the Roper family has gotten it out about the foundation and the website.

“We are hoping for the best. Anyone can help out.”

Aitken said the Match4kim site got about 2,000 hits the first day it was up. He noted that the HEADstrong Foundation and Philly schools such as Villanova have gotten involved. Penn State’s field hockey also has been a major supporter of the cause.

“It’s great to see so many people rally together in a short period of time,” said Penn State junior goalie Austin Kaut, a Co-Player of the Year in 2010 (Springfioeld-Delco) who earned Third Team All-America honors last spring.

“We knew Drew’s mother had it beat it twice, so to find out she had it a third time was devastating. But we have rallied around this and the website got started and we’ve been able to get the information out.

“Everything people are doing has been amazing. The field hockey team is supporting the cause with stickers on their sticks, they are doing something at the football game and so many people have come together for such a great cause.”

How to Join the National Marrow Donor Program

1. Click here to be linked to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
2. Use match4kim as the promo code
3. Complete the online form and cotton swabs will be mailed to you.
4. Follow the instructions and swab the inside of your cheek.
5. Return the swabs in the pre-paid envelope to the NMDP.



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