UVa's London promoting blood testing program

Virginia coach Mike London answered questions on Tuesday about his team's upcoming spring game on Saturday. But before he did, he spent just under 10 minutes speaking at length about what will precede it: A program to test blood and bone marrow donors to help those suffering from diseases of the blood and bone marrow.

London's passion stems from experience; he donated his own bone marrow to his daughter, Ticynn, in 2003 after she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder.

"Bone marrow donors are rare, and we're trying to raise the awareness," London said.

Virginia will host the drive, titled "Get in the Game, Save A Life," on campus on Thursday from 10:30 to 2:30 on the patio of Newcomb Hall. Members of London's team will volunteer their time to assist with registration.

At practice on Monday, London brought a family he knew who had been helped by a donor to help put a face on the issue his team would be supporting.

"The old way of thinking of bone marrow transplants, where you had to go into somebody's hip and take the marrow out, that's the old way of doing it," London said. "The newest way, the way I did mine in 2003 at Johns Hopkins Hospital when I was here in Virginia for my daughter, is they hook you up to a machine and put it through one arm and it goes through a machine and the machine separates the white blood cells from the red blood cells and plasma, the bone marrow, whatever it's collecting from you, and then it'll filter it and put it back into your other arm."