NMDP. Find cures. Save lives

The University of Washington is proud to partner with NMDP. As a global nonprofit leader in cell therapy, NMDP creates essential connections between researchers and supporters to inspire action and accelerate innovation to find cures. With the help of blood stem cell donors from the world’s most diverse registry and their extensive network of transplant partners, physicians and caregivers, NMDP is expanding access to treatment so that every patient can receive their life-saving cell therapy. 

Table of Contents

Get Involved Today

About the Partnership

Why UW

Past Events

Get Involved Today

To register, visit join.nmdp.org/UW
or Text UWSAVES to 61474

Attend or Volunteer at Get In The Game on May 2

Join The Whole U, UW Athletics, and NMDP (formally Be The Match) on Red Square on May 2 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to learn more about joining the registry and saving a life. This fun block party will include music, a photo opportunity with Harry, free t-shirts and other swag. Meet UW coaches and athletes and commit together to saving lives through the NMDP registry.




Support NMDP through the
UW Combined Fund Drive

Consider making a one-time, monthly, bi-monthly, or annual monetary contribution to Be The Match through the UW Combined Fund Drive. Your donations can be deducted from your paycheck to make contributions simple.





About the Partnership

The University of Washington is proud to partner with NMDP, a leader in cell therapy, helping find cures and save lives for patients with blood cancers and disorders.  

This partnership bridges the University-wide Population Health and Race and Equity Initiatives. Our aim is to improve the quality of life and chance of survival for people with cancer and over 75 other diseases by educating about blood stem cell donation and the need for diverse registrants! 

NMDP is looking to register potential donors between the ages of 18 and 35. Research has shown that cells from younger donors lead to better long-term survival for patients. Doctors also request donors in that age group 75% of the time. 

In particular, they encourage people of color, particularly those with mixed-ancestries to consider becoming potential donors. Growing and diversifying the registry’s pool of potential donors increases peoples’ chances of finding a match—more on this later!

Join The Movement

Since 2018, the UW has offered many opportunities to get involved in this partnership within the UW community, educating people about the life-saving process of marrow donation and how it helps save lives around the world. Below, you can check out what’s planned on campus in the coming future, find ways to get involved, learn about past events, and learn why this partnership is so essential to UW’s commitment to equity in advancing population health.


Why UW

(Photo: Be the Match)

This is a bold, new partnership, but one with deep ties to the UW community. Research and treatment done in collaboration between the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the UW—including one of the first live marrow transplants—was integral to the establishment of the first marrow registry. As the first institution to be a community supporter of NMDP (Be The Match), the University of Washington is excited to continue to serve in this life-saving mission.

More recently, in May 2016, UW professor of sociology Alexes Harris was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and soon learned that a marrow or stem cell transplant would be her only hope of a cure. Two years later, after receiving a successful stem cell transplant using umbilical cord blood at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, she is living cancer free and recovering well, but the difficulty of finding a donor with a 100% matched made her realize the fight had only just begun.

Why ancestry matters

Cancers and other diseases do not discriminate-they affect people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, often with very little warning. The best match for a patient is typically someone who shares their ethnic background. Improving the ethnic diversity of the NMDP RegistrySM improves all patients’ odds of finding their best match, regardless of ethnic background. 



Past Events at UW

NMDP + UW Football!

Be The Match was on hand as the Huskies triumphed over Stanford the weekend of September 28. But the biggest winners were those who stopped by the Be The Match table and registered as potential marrow donors in order to make life-saving impact. The day before, Friday, Be The Match was at the HUB along with BloodworksNW to co-hosting a blood drive and recruitment event.

Fitness Day 

In previous years The Whole U has used UW Fitness Day to aid and promote NMDP’s blood cancer awareness campaign. UW’s Fitness Day included a fundraising and donor registration goal for NMDP (previously Be The Match).

Following UW Fitness Day 2023, a donor registration and awareness event, Get in the Game, took place on Red Square in support of Be The Match, intended to increase awareness of its lifesaving marrow and stem-cell research and donor registry among students.


Get in the Game – Block Party on Red Square!

On May 1, The Whole U, Be The Match, UW Football, and UW Men’s Basketball all packed up and headed to Red Square with a mission: spread the word about UW’s new partnership with Be The Match and talk to students, faculty, and staff about joining the registry. Students flooded the block party; eager to snap a photo with Dubs, meet coach Petersen and team players, and sign up to be a donor.

Although the official Be The Match and UW partnership is the first of its kind, Get in the Game isn’t a new concept. Created by Coach Tally of Villanova, Get in the Game is a nationwide series of events hosted by university football teams. The mission is always the same, spread the word about Be The Match and show students the impact they can make by joining the registry. Today, Get in the Game is supported by Coach Tally’s Foundation, the Andy Tally Bone Marrow Foundation.

From students and faculty playing corn hole together to attendees cooling off with Hubert’s lemonade and throwing on their new tees, the afternoon was exciting, inviting, and definitely one to remember. UW now has had over 200 students, faculty, and staff complete registration for Be The Match and request their swab kits in the mail. This is incredible, thank you to everyone who has become a donor. We’re just getting started! To learn more about the registration process, UW’s partnership, and who can join the registry, click here.

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite moments from the afternoon!

Students snap a photo with Coach Petersen after joining the registry and snagging their official Get in the Game t-shirt!

King 5 news dropped in to film the event for their local segment Take 5. Reporter Jordan Steele interviewed Coach Petersen, Lauren Updyke, assistant director to the Whole U, Brandyn Harvey, former NFL football player and Be The Match staff, and Dr. Alexes Harris, UW Sociology professor and cancer survivor. Check out Dr. Harris’ interview—what a natural!

Students passing on their way to class learn about Be The Match from two UW Football players.

Be The Match, UW Football, and Whole U volunteers were very busy spreading the word and walking new donors through the registration process the entire event. Good thing we had Kind Bars to refuel!

Dubs smiles for a job well done! Woof!

All in all, UW Fitness Day and our Get in the Game Block Party made for a fantastic day full of Husky spirit and community. We are excited to continue this partnership and could not have done it all without our amazing sponsors and partners. Thank you to NMDP, UW Football, UW Athletics, and the Andy Tally Bone Marrow Foundation for your partnership and Hubert’s Lemonade, Kind Bars, Be The Match, and BECU for your sponsorship.

Partnership Kick-Off!

The Whole U is proud to help facilitate this partnership and got things started on Monday, November 5 by hosting a Be the Match Kickoff Event in the HUB South Ballroom attended by more than 450 staff, students, and faculty.


With a welcome and introduction from UW Provost Mark Richards, the evening featured a screening of Mixed Match, an acclaimed documentary that tells the stories of mixed race blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle with a nearly impossible search to find marrow donors. The film was followed by a panel discussion on race in medicine and the process of marrow donation with experts from UW Medicine and the wider Seattle medical community weighing in.

Kick-Off Presenters & Panelists:

To register, visit Join.nmdp.org/UW
or Text CURE16 to 61474

All new Be the Match campus programming will be added to the Get Involved Today section at the top of this page. Follow along with us on social media and the Whole U website, and most importantly share with your family, friends, and colleagues!