Donor Superheroes!

Donors are superheroes who honor their commitment to saving a life! Since 2008, the “Get in the Game. Save a Life” program has produced over 306 lifesaving heroes that have donated their bone marrow or peripheral blood stem to a patient in need.

Most view marrow donation as a selfless, honorable, time committing act that a donor makes to give a dying patient the second chance at life they desperately need. Donors look at it as a gift! They embrace the opportunity to be someone’s cure and walk away from the experience as if they are the lucky ones.
Meet a few of our amazing Get in the Game heroes:

Jared

Jared was a happy college student, playing football as a fullback for West Chester University. When his coach, Bill Zwaan, committed to host a “Get in the Game, Save a Life” marrow donor registry drive, Jared swabbed the inside of his cheek and officially joined the Be the Match Registry®. He didn’t think much of it once it was over.

Then Jared got the call that changed his life forever. He was a match! Jared saw the opportunity as two-fold; not only could he help save someone’s life, but he would get the opportunity to share his story with the public in hopes of inspiring others to register. Jared says his donation experience has changed his thoughts on everything, “It opens up your world.” Jared’s donation has made his recipient Sigitas appreciate every day he wakes up explaining, “There is beauty in everything. You can feel your loved ones, you can feel your child… everything is beautiful around us.”

Click here to watch Jared meet his stem cell recipient.

Matt & John

The odds of being a marrow donor aren’t as slim as one might assume, but the chance of having two donors from the same family, however; is rare! Meet Matt and John. Two brothers from the University of Rhode Island football team, both are Get in the Game lifesaving heroes!

Matt saved the life of a 42 year old man with a form of lymphoma. His response when he found out he was a perfect match, “Let’s go!” Honored with the unofficial award for donating enough stem cells for not just one, but two transplants in a four hour time period, Matt didn’t hold that title for long. Matt explains, “It was the highest count they had ever seen….until my brother.” As competitive as the brothers are, this was a title Matt wasn’t upset to loose. His younger brother John, was identified a few years later and gladly followed in his big brother’s footsteps.

Click here to read more about Matt & John’s visit.

Jordan

Saving the life of an infant suffering from a rare immune disorder took some time to set in a Western Illinios University linebacker named Jordan. “It really hasn’t hit me yet…I feel like I am just doing what I should do,” Veloz said. “But there are times I stop and think, ‘Wow, it is all in my hands.”

Jordan, like many donors, hopes that people are inspired to become a donor themselves once they hear about his donation journey.   “You never know when you or someone you know will need help, and if you get a chance to help someone else, why wouldn’t you?”

Click here to read more about Jordan’s visit.

Matthew

Brown University Football safety Matthew, got a call in his dorm room a week before finals notifying him that he was a perfect genetic match for a male patient who desperately needed a bone marrow transplant. While somewhat shocked to hear that he was a perfect match for a patient, Matthew never gave it a second thought. He was going to save a life.

“I was blessed with the opportunity to donate,” Matthew said, realizing that there are many people on the Be the Match Registry who have never been contacted to donate. Described as a giving, humble, and personable young man, Matt donated his bone marrow during a two-hour procedure where they extracted marrow from his hip bones. “The important thing to remember is, more and more people are getting diseases like cancer and leukemia every day, which means we need more and more donors to make a difference, to save their lives,” Matt explains. “That is why when you have the chance to change someone’s life, you need to step up to the plate.”

Click here to read more about Matthew’s experience.