UTPA Baseball Goes Bald For Good Cause

The University of Texas-Pan American baseball players and coaches shaved their heads this week in support of Nolan Naranjo, a five year old from Brownsville with MDS (pre-leukemia).

Nolan is currently undergoing chemotherapy and lost all of his hair. This prompted the Broncs, led by head coach Manny Mantrana and seniors Derek Hagy, Shane Klemcke and Chris Torres and junior Andy Fortuna to decide to shave their heads and send a picture to Nolan, who is undergoing treatment in Houston, to show him that it TMs okay to be bald.

We wanted Nolan to know that it is OK if you don TMt have hair for a little while. We wanted him to know that we are part of his team, Broncs head coach Manny Mantrana said. Shaving our heads in support of Nolan is the least we could do. Our players have taken Nolan in as their little brother and we wish we could do more.

The Broncs held a bone marrow drive for Nolan on September 12 and registered 250 people for the Be the Match Registry. Unfortunately, no full match has been found at this point.

Anyone who wants to register for the Be the Match Registry can do so at United Blood Services. The closest UBS location to campus is at 1400 S. 6th St. in McAllen.

On average, only one in every 540 members of the Be the Match Registry in the United States will be called on to donate.Donors ages 18-44 are 10 times more likely to be called upon to donate. Additionally, ethnicity plays an important role in bone marrow match. Nolan is Hispanic and Caucasian.In order to join the registry, potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to donate to any patient in need, and meet the health guidelines.Nolan is the same child who threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Broncs baseball game on May 12 while a blood drive was held in his honor. Prior to his recent contraction of MDS, Nolan had been diagnosed with aplastic anemia.