PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It is with great sadness the Rutgers women’s basketball program announces the passing of former manager Gianna DeVeitro, who lost her battle with leukemia over the weekend. A 2016 Rutgers graduate, DeVeitro served two seasons as a manager helping with the day-to-day behind the scenes operation of the program.
“I am at a total loss. Gianna embodied love, kindness and a spirit of giving,” said head coach C. Vivian Stringer. “She was so special to me and our program. Gianna was a brilliant young person who had all the world in front of her. Throughout her illness, she always managed a smile and showed so much strength and courage beyond what anyone could imagine. I am grateful for the time we managed to spend together. Our thoughts are with Gianna's family and friends.”
Throughout her fight, DeVeitro’s focus was not only on herself, but with others facing cancer and blood diseases as well. Her goal was to educate the public about leukemia and the need for people to join the international bone marrow registry to possibly be a life-saving donor.
Every three minutes in the United States, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and for many, a bone marrow transplant is the best chance for survival. Seventy percent of all patients who need a transplant do not have fully matched donors in their family resulting in approximately 14,000 patients each year needing to find a compatible donor.
In wanting to help fellow patients with a better chance of surviving and living a full life, DeVeitro teamed with the nonprofits Kier’s Kidz and DKMS to host a Bone Marrow Donor Registry Drive during the Rutgers women’s basketball contest with Northwestern in late January.
To find out more information on how to join the bone marrow registry and be matched as a potential life-saving donor visit www.dkms.org/en/register.
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