Marrow transplant research: a cause worth walking for

Nearly two years ago, my father learned he needed a marrow transplant to save his life. That’s when I joined the Be The Match Registry®, hoping to be his cure and perfect match.

Unfortunately, like 70 percent of patients in need of a transplant, my father did not have a fully matched donor in our family. His doctors turned to the Be The Match Registry, the world’s largest and most diverse listing of potential marrow and blood stem cell donors, in hopes of finding an unrelated donor. Thanks to the selfless act of a stranger, my dad received his transplant in August 2014.

Just over a year after his transplant, I learned I was a match for someone else in need. I couldn’t believe that I was now a match for someone else, just a year after what my dad had gone through.
Having witnessed what the patient was experiencing firsthand, I never hesitated to move forward with the donation process. I thought about my dad’s donor and what the outcome could have been if they had backed out. My dad wouldn’t be here today without his donor, and there was no way I would put another family in that position.

Despite my fear of needles, I moved forward with the donation process, and now I am sharing my story in hopes of encouraging Minneapolis residents to participate in the upcoming Be The Match® Walk+Run on Saturday, May 14, at Lake Harriet.

The 5K, 1K and Tot Trot raises funds to support marrow transplant research, help patients with uninsured treatment costs and add more volunteer potential marrow donors to Be The Match Registry – giving more patients hope for a cure. Visit BeTheMatchWalkRun.org to register and learn more.
I hope to see you there!

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