Team Joins Forces with Hugs From Hayley to Give Hope to Patients Waiting for a Match

PORTLAND, ME (March 3, 2010)-The Maine Red Claws, presented by Quirk Chevrolet, in association with Hugs from Hayley, are proud to announce the Red Claws will host a bone marrow registry drive on Sunday, March 7, as the Red Claws take on the Sioux Falls Skyforce at 5:00 PM. The announcement was made by Maine Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings.

In 2008, Hayley Desjardins of Saco was diagnosed a rare blood disease called Aplastic Anemia, a disease that causes the immune system to attack blood-producing bone marrow. In cases such as Hayley’s, the best option is a bone marrow transplant. With no matching donor to be found, Hayley underwent a series of treatments to suppress her immune system and try to trick her marrow back into functioning properly.

During Hayley's illness, friends, family, and complete strangers came together to hold fundraisers to assist the Desjardins family with the financial pressures involved in caring for a sick child. Touched by the outpouring of support during their daughter’s illness, the Desjardins family decided to “pay it forward.” Since Hayley's diagnosis, they have helped register over 2,000 possible life saving bone marrow donors. This Sunday, March 7, the Maine Red Claws will join with the Desjardins family and DKMS ( for a “Hugs from Hayley” bone marrow drive. Doors for the 5 PM game will open early, at 3:30 PM, for all fans who wish to add their name to the National Bone Marrow Registry. Registration consists of a simple, painless cheek swab. “With something as easy as a cheek swab and adding your name to the national registry, you have the potential to save a life,” said Jennings. “What an amazing possibility that one of our fans, players or staff might be a perfect match for someone waiting for a cure.”

RED CLAWS AT THE MAINE MALL: On Saturday, March 6, the entire Red Claws team will be at the Maine Mall for a public autograph session. The event, sponsored by the Portland Press Herald, will take place from 3 PM – 5 PM at the center of the mall, between the Gap and Sports Authority.