This is why you participate in the Be The Match Walk+Run, why you fundraise, and why you support Be The Match®. Read stories of patients, donors and families who are directly impacted by the support and involvement of people like you!

2018 BTMWR Inspiration Justin_Aja

The Pain for me was only temporary. Think about the patient.

Aja-Reigh loves tacos, action movies, singing along with Beyoncé–and helping people. “My mom would always tell me that it is important for people to care for each other.” That’s what motivated her to join the registry in 2013. A year later, she got the call she was a match for a 13-year-old boy with sickle cell disease. She was filled with joy and eager to move forward. Her family was excited for her, but were worried it was going to hurt. “I reminded them to think about the patient. The pain for me was only temporary,” said Aja-Reigh

Learn more about Aja-Reigh’s experience meeting her recipient for the first time

2018 BTMWR Inspiration Sam_Ron

Having my wisdom teeth removed hurt worse…

In October 2012, Samantha received a call that she was a potential match for a 55 year old man with acute myeloid leukemia. “Honestly, having my wisdom teeth removed hurt worse than donating marrow. I was under anesthesia and not awake during the procedure. I was in the hospital at 5 a.m. and out by 11 a.m. In 2014, at the Chicago Be The Match Walk+Run, Samantha was able to meet her recipient, Ron, for the first time.

Read more about Samantha and Ron


2018 BTMWR Inspiration Estavan

If you are a match, it’s a miracle! Don’t question it, do it!

Having joined back in 2009, Carlos was shocked when he got the call that he was a potential match for a young boy with severe aplastic anemia. “It’s one of those things you don’t really think about after you register, until you get the call.” Carlos describes the day of surgery as a little overwhelming, “seeing so many doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and other medical professionals in my room to take me to surgery. All along the way, every single person told me how amazing I was. I was told I was a hero but, to me I was just doing the right thing, what I would hope someone would do for me or my family if necessary.”

Carlos was able to meet his transplant recipient, Estavan, a year after donation. Watch their emotional meeting here.

2018 BTMWR Inspiration Justin



Justin’s journey with sickle cell and transplant

Justin had his first sickle cell crisis when he was six months old – for his mother, Kari, this was a day she will never forget. “He wouldn’t stop crying and nothing I did could help him,” she said. “This was the beginning of a lot of heartache, pain and tears, not just from him, but from me too.” After tests showed Justin’s younger brother was not a match, Kari said the family was at a crossroads. “My husband and I considered having another baby in hopes that this baby would save Justin’s life,” she said. “I prayed and there was a perfect match.”

Learn more about Justin’s journey to transplant here