Watch: Scrabble players compete at Duke to support cancer victims

More than 50 people spent the weekend of Jan. 12-14 playing Scrabble at Duke University Hospital to benefit the Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Family Support Program.
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More than 50 people spent the weekend of Jan. 12-14 playing Scrabble at Duke University Hospital to benefit the Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Family Support Program.
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Durham County

Scrabble players spend weekend competing for a good cause at Duke

By Samiha Khanna

Duke Health Marketing & Communications

January 14, 2018 03:00 PM

Durham

Some 54 people spent Friday through Sunday, Jan. 12-14 playing in the Triangle Scrabble Club's PBMT Tournament at Duke University Hospital for a good cause.

This was the eighth year for the charity Scrabble tournament to benefit the Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Family Support Program. The program supports patients and their families through treatment at Duke by visiting patients, running errands, delivering meals and more. This year’s tournament raised $6,719.

The tournament has raised more than $35,000 for the program over the past eight years through registration fees and donations.

The tournament was started by a Chapel Hill teacher and the family of a Duke patient, Amalan Iyengar, who was diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome — a rare, genetic disease that is fatal in infancy if untreated, and typically requires a bone marrow transplant.

Amalan, now a freshman at N.C. State University, had the idea of combining his love for Scrabble with support for the Duke program that saved his life.

This year’s 54 competitors battled in four divisions. Here’s a look at the top divisional finishers:

Newcomer's Tournament

1st Place — Michelle Phan, Philadelphia, Pa.

2nd Place — Lisa Marsh, Greensboro

3rd Place — Krishna Rajagopal, Smith Middle School, Chapel Hill (6th grader)

CSW (International Lexicon) Tournament

1st Place — Sam Rosin, UNC-Chapel Hill

2nd Place — Kevin Bowerman, UNC-Chapel Hill

Main Event/Expert Division

1st Place — Clay Daniel, Charlottesville, Va.

2nd Place — Rahn McKeown, Philadelphia

3rd Place — Randy Hersom, High Point

Main Event/Intermediate Division

1st Place — Bruce Shuman, Wilmington, NC

2nd Place — David Klionsky, Durham

3rd Place — Matt Milliken, Durham