Fordham’s Roddy Roche a perfect ‘match’ to save a life


The odds of being a scholarship collegiate athlete are long. For all of the kids who play a high school sport, the number of scholarship slots at the next level decrease exponentially. Sometimes great athletes don’t get the chance to move on to the next level.

And while those odds are long, the odds of being a bone marrow match are even longer – about 1 in 9 million.

But luck was with a 62-year-old woman and Roddy Roche, a Fordham football player. Last spring, as part of a community service project, the Rams players participated in Be the Match, the world’s largest bone marrow registry.

According to Be the Match, for patients diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases, a bone marrow or cord blood transplant may be their best or only hope for a cure. Yet 70% of patients who need a transplant to do not have a matched donor in their family. The registry matches volunteers ready to donate bone marrow.

And Roche turned out to be that 1 in 9 million.

Sean Loughlin

Sean Loughlin is a freelance producer based in New York City.