For former Amsterdam Crusader Marlon Etnel, it’s 4th & 10 and time is running out

Former Amsterdam Crusader football player Marlon Etnel needs your help.

He is suffering from a rare form of lymphatic cancer and needs a stem cell donor. And he doesn’t have much time left.

Twenty years ago, Etnel was discovered by the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe fame during a parking lot game of flag football. Recognizing his talent, the team gave him a tryout and his football career was born.

After a year with the Admirals, his skills took him to the Munich Cowboys in the German Football League but he returned to the Netherlands and the Amsterdam Crusaders to finish up his football-playing career.

He would then trade in his cleats for dancing shoes where he spent a number of years as an accomplished salsa dancer.

Today, the 46 year old Etnel, a father of three, is facing the biggest challenge of his life. It’s fourth and 10 and late in the last quarter and the clock is ticking. The lymphatic cancer he has is rare and without a stem cell donor, his time will definitely run out.  His cancer is resistant to chemotherapy and the pills he is taking to slow down his cancer’s advance are already nearing the end of their usefulness.

Stem cell donations are still too few and far between.  The Amsterdam Crusaders have launched a ‘last drive’ to spread the word and call upon everyone in the American football community to do what they can to help.

Click here to help Marlon Etnel. Don’t delay. The clock is ticking. #Bethematch

American football is a good fit for this challenge.  For starters, donors need to be in decent shape and relatively young. In Etnel’s case, a donor will have to have African roots. Donors with an African background are in short supply but the football community is a great platform to reach young people with African roots.  Longtime Crusader Coach Winston Ronde has called for the bar to be raised when it comes to the number of donors.

The American football community is known for being close knit and also having huge hearts.  The appeal goes out to everyone, even if you are not a donor candidate.

Spread the word.

The normal procedure is no more invasive than a blood donation, but there may be a call for a marrow donation which while more intense shouldn’t scare off a group of athletes who have survived gassers or the Oklahoma Drill!

The Crusaders have a simple message:

“Every day we are bombarded by pleas for our money or our time – two things that are sometimes in short supply but by registering as a stem cell donor,  you have the incredible opportunity to give the gift of life.  Be that match and give that gift”.  Registration is relatively easy.  A website has been set up for the Crusaders to help Marlon which includes information for visitors around the world to find their local authority: The Crusaders are asking that everyone in the worldwide football family not only check in as a potential donor but also spread the message by talking about it in their teams and sharing the information on their social media with the hashtag #bethematch”

Click here to help Marlon Etnel. Don’t delay. The clock is ticking. #Bethematch



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