INDIANAPOLIS — Before the Indiana Pacers tip off against Milwaukee Bucks Friday night, the team’s star center has something more important to do at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse: Help save lives.
The Roy Hibbert Blood & Bone Marrow Drive runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fieldhouse. Each blood donor receives one ticket to an upcoming Pacers game (details below).
Hibbert lends his name and support to the cause because of Lee Eddins, a 12-year-old California boy who last summer lost his 6-month battle with Stage 4 leukemia. Eddins’ wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation was to meet his sports hero, Roy Hibbert. He died while waiting for a bone marrow transplant before his wish could come true.
“Lee’s story really touched me, so I wanted to be a part of it,” Hibbert told Fox 59 News. “He’s close to my heart and I just want to be able to put the word out there and hopefully save some people’s lives.”
The Indiana Blood Center runs the “Be the Match” bone marrow registry in the state. Joining the registry takes on a couple minutes by filling out paperwork and taking a cheek swab, said spokesperson Shannon Jordan.
Friday’s event also hopes to save lives in the short-term by bringing in a goal of 300 blood donors. Each donor gives a pint, which can save up to three lives.
While the blood supply in the state has been adequate this year, donations get harder to come by as people’s lives get busier in the spring and summer, Jordan said.
“The need is constant,” Jordan said. “Each and every day we need to see 620 donors to make sure that hospitals around the state have what they need to treat their patients.”
Each blood donor receives one ticket to one of the following games:
- Friday, March 22 – Pacers vs. Milwaukee (only available for participants at the Bankers Life Fiedhouse on March 22)
- Monday, March 25 – Pacers vs. Atlanta
- Tuesday, April 9 – Pacers vs. Cleveland
- Wednesday, April 17 – Pacers vs. Philadelphia