From March 10-14, 2010 AHEPA Marrow will be hosting its second annual AHEPA Marrow National Invitational Basketball Tournament in Chicago. There, Eastern Orthodox Christian teams, of various nationalities and from all around the United States and Canada, compete for an excellent cause. The tournament’s motto is, “A Tournament that Saves Lives.”
The AHEPA Marrow Donor Registry’s mission is to add persons of Mediterranean descent into its database of prospective donors. The best chance for a leukemia patient is from a family member, secondly from relatives, and then from their ethnic group.
The goals of the tournament are to promote education, raise awareness of the marrow transplant process, recruit eligible donors and serve as a national fundraising event. There are several divisions, including Men’s, Senior Men’s (45+), Women’s, Boys High School, Boys 15 and Under, Grammar School and Biddy. They also hold a three-point shooting contest, in which the proceeds are donated to a worthwhile Hellenic cause. This year the funds will be donated to a young boy named Yano, who has Neuroblastoma.
During the tournament, the organization conducts drives in an attempt to find potential donors for individuals with cancer. A few years ago, a match was found for a young Greek woman and her life was saved. It only takes one to save a life.