Thanks to the generous donations from family and friends (along with several matching gifts from my employer, The Hartford), I was able to reach my goal of raising $10,000 in 2019 for Be The Match. What better way to start the New Year then to aim a bit higher? So I have set a goal of raising $11,000 in 2020, and am asking for your support to hit that mark.
The Be The Match Registry is the world's largest hematopoietic cell registry, with over 16 million individuals and nearly 238,000 cord blood units. Hematopoietic cells from NMDP are used to transplant patients with a variety of blood, bone marrow or immune system disorders. In late 2019, the NMDP facilitated its 100,000th transplant since the program’s inception in 1986.
I am proudly 1 of the 100,000, and now support the organization as a member of the Be The Match Foundation Board of Directors and also as a Volunteer Stem Cell/Marrow Courier. Four years post-transplant, I have met many people and read countless stories about those in search of a lifesaving transplant. Unfortunately, there are many who never found a match and died waiting. I follow numerous searching patients on Instagram and Twitter, including young children whose parents are desperately seeking the match that could give their child a chance at life:
- Mia is a 17-year-old girl in Phoenix with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, she receives monthly blood transfusions to stay alive, she has been looking her entire life for a match.
- Thor is an amazing little boy in Georgia who suffers from the brutal symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia, which only a transplant could cure.
- Julian is a young man in South Florida who has a rare immune system disorder. A Bone Marrow Transplant is his only hope.
Aside from these kids, there are over 10,000 people waiting to find a match to cure their leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease and over 70 other blood and bone marrow disorders. With only 16 million people on the Registry (and 75% of them over the preferred age of 35), we must do more to diversify the Registry and give everyone the chance that I had.
I know there are many causes to support, so I appreciate whatever you can contribute to Be The Match. And if you are between the ages of 18 and 44, you can always join the Registry for free, potentially saving someone’s life. And that would be the best gift of all.