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Opinion | Cardinals fans can #Join4Joe and save a life by helping 'Be the Match'

Since it kicked off four years ago, #Join4Joe has added 300 names to the list of donors
Credit: St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Did you know there are 14,000 people out there in the world in need of bone marrow to stay alive? But there's a way you can help decrease that number right now. Today, in fact.

If you are a St. Louis Cardinals fan, there's a good chance you know who Joe Strauss is.

The late St. Louis Post Dispatch sports columnist was known for his snarky demeanor on social media and whip-smart journalistic integrity. He challenged players and his fellow writers, like Derrick Goold and Bernie Miklasz, to be better and tougher.

Strauss passed away after a lengthy battle with leukemia. According to Goold, Strauss was "a relentless reporter and fearless writer who earned respect throughout baseball's press boxes and clubhouses for his distinctive voice and incisive coverage of the game."

Strauss may have been sharp, but his daughter Alexis is arguably sharper.

She helped kick off this annual bone marrow drive called "#Join4Joe", which aims to add names to the national bone marrow registry list. The effort is to bring that 14,000 number down significantly every year.

Now, in any other year, this would take place at a Cardinals game down at Busch Stadium. Fans who came for the game or were downtown could drop in quick, get a cheek swab, and be on their way. It's a quick and non-invasive procedure to put your name and marrow on the list. This year, due to COVID-19, it's taking place virtually starting Saturday.

You can go to this website and request a testing kit or simply text Join4Joe to 61474. Younger people are the target here, between years 18-44, because the younger the better when it comes to the particular cells that can find these diseases.

Remember, you could help save a life by simply putting a Q-tip in your mouth for a matter of seconds and mailing it off. Since it kicked off four years ago, #Join4Joe has added 300 names to the list of donors.

Here's your chance to be no. 301 or perhaps no. 400. Let's get that number up to a place where a Major League Baseball player could retire with this many home runs and be a lock for the Hall of Fame. Every single donor helps decrease the chance that another gifted soul like Joe's will lose a battle. If you loved Joe and what he did for sports-writing in this town, get out there and save a life.

You can't show your love right now for Cardinals baseball due to the pandemic, but you can show some love for a former St. Louis scribe whose impact is still felt today.

Let's do this, St. Louis.

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