For all of his athletic exploits, one of Matt Szczur’s greatest accomplishments occurred when he donated bone marrow to help save a young girl from Eastern Europe with leukemia.
So it’s no surprise that the Lower Cape May Regional High School graduate and major league baseball player has been at the forefront of efforts to spread the word about potential bone marrow donation.
Szczur, who finished the 2017 season with the San Diego Padres, will host a ‘Szcz The Day’ Be The Match Registry event on Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Cape May Fitness Center on Bayshore Road in North Cape May.
The event welcomes men and women ages 18-44 to join the Be The Match Registry for bone marrow. Participants will fill out a registration form and have the inside of their cheeks swabbed in order to have their tissue type added to the international bone marrow registry.
The event also includes the opportunity for participants to use a rowing machine to row 1,000 meters, with the top rowers earning prizes. Donation to row is $20. Prizes include Eagles tickets, a signed Matt Szczur bat, Cape May Fitness Center gym membership and more.
Szczur is a 2007 graduate of Lower Cape May who went on to star in football and baseball at Villanova University. After being found a match for a young girl from Ukraine needing bone marrow, Szczur underwent the medical procedure to donate during his junior baseball season with the Wildcats.
Szczur was a 2010 draft selection by the Chicago Cubs. He eventually spent parts of four seasons with the Cubs, including the entire 2016 season in which the team won the World Series. He was traded to the Padres early in the 2017 season. He batted .226 with three home runs, 18 RBI and 28 runs scored in 195 at bats in 2017.
For more information on the ‘Szcz The Day’ Be The Match Registry event, call the Cape May Fitness Center at 435-5917.
— Brian Cunniff