UW News

May 20, 2022

UW Fitness Day aims to strengthen community and bone marrow registry

UW News

Husky Stadium

Participants at UW Fitness Day 2019 in Husky Stadium.University of Washington

The annual University of Washington Fitness Day returns as an in-person event on Monday, May 23. This year’s Fitness Day includes a fundraising and registration goal for Be The Match, the nation’s largest registry of bone marrow donors.

Fitness Day is a unique, campuswide workout to celebrate movement. The Seattle campus will host the event on the field at Husky Stadium, where participants will gather from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and complete a circuit workout with 20 stations led by expert coaches from UW Athletics and community partners. Workout stations will include strength training, cardio bursts, active recovery and yoga. All fitness levels are welcome and encouraged to participate. Participants will receive a free, performance tech T-shirt.

From 3:30 to 5 p.m., the festivities move to Red Square for “Get in the Game,” a joint effort with Be The Match intended to increase awareness of its marrow and stem-cell donor registry and encourage students to sign up for the registry. UW athletes will lead the peer-to-peer education effort with Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Cheer and Dance, and Track teams participating.

Alexes Harris, UW professor of sociology, is leading the push to increase the registry at the event. Six years ago, Harris was diagnosed with a form of leukemia that required a bone marrow transplant but couldn’t find a match on the registry.

“Be The Match couldn’t find me a match because people of color are underrepresented on the registry and ancestry matters when matching,” said Harris, who added that she was fortunate to enter a clinical trial at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and had a cord blood transplant that saved her life. “I work with Be The Match in the name of people who did not find a match and were not able to live.”

The goal is to raise $5,000 and sign up 500 new registry members. Participants are invited to make a $5 suggested donation when registering for UW Fitness Day.

“After years of not being able to gather in person due to the pandemic, I am thrilled to see employees and students come together in community once again,” said Mindy Kornberg, UW vice president for Human Resources. “UW employees across campus and our medical centers work extraordinarily hard and this event is the epitome of centering employee well-being at work.”

Fitness Day events are also being held Monday at Harborview Medical Center, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma. More information on all UW Fitness Day events at every location can be found on The Whole U’s website.

For more information, contact Victor Balta at balta@uw.edu.