Gift of Life Marrow Registry and Misfits Gaming esports are teaming up to thank donors and expand the marrow registry in celebration of World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD) on Sept. 21-22, by hosting the first-of-its-kind “Swab-a-Thon” on the streaming website Twitch.
More than 20 players from Misfits Gaming and its Overwatch team, the Florida Mayhem, will promote WMDD and Gift of Life’s mission to esports audiences around the world, while asking their 5.5 million combined Twitch and other social media platform followers to order a cheek swab kit online from Gift of Life or their respective country’s registry.
Simultaneously, Gift of Life will be streaming the event on their Twitch channel live from the largest free gaming event in the southeast U.S., GatorLAN at University of Florida, Gainesville, on Sept. 21.
In addition, Gift of Life Campus Ambassadors at 103 colleges and universities across the country will hold Swab-A-Thon parties and social media campaigns to encourage students to join the registry.
Misfits Gaming, which owns the Miami-based Florida Mayhem, and Gift of Life recently launched their partnership to fight blood cancer and other diseases through stem cell and bone marrow transplants. World Marrow Donor Day, held on the third Saturday of each September, celebrates and thanks those who donated marrow and blood stem cells to save a stranger’s life. The day also educates people about the battle against blood cancer and other diseases.
Because donors ages 18-35 provide the best outcome for transplant recipients, Gift of Life and Misfits Gaming share key audience demographics. Esports is a global entertainment powerhouse, expected to top $1 billion in revenue and 453.8 million viewers worldwide in 2019. Esports tournaments are held both online and in gaming centers and stadia around the world. College campuses across the United States are adding esports complexes to host tournaments and events, and most campuses have gaming clubs.
“We are deeply grateful to Misfits Gaming and the Florida Mayhem for their support of World Marrow Donor Day and for our shared goal of getting as many people as possible to become potential life-saving donors,” said Gift of Life Founder and CEO Jay Feinberg.
“We’re extremely proud to help Gift of Life call people to action during this year’s World Marrow Donor Day,” said Florida Mayhem president John Kracum. “We have a fantastic community of fans who we know will be excited to support this important mission, and we love to find fun ways like this to reach as many people as possible.”
Since its start in 1991, Gift of Life Marrow Registry has grown to more than 347,000 individuals who have volunteered to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life. To date, Gift of Life has facilitated over 16,600 matches for those with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, and nearly 100 other diseases, resulting in more than 3,490 transplants.