blood marrow donor registry leukemia

When my best friend’s daughter was three, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Blood cancer.

Like many families, this diagnosis was completely unexpected. Just 36 hours before her diagnosis, little Katherine was at a friend’s birthday party jumping on bouncy houses. Her life really did turn upside down that fast.

Katherine endured two years of treatments, including those which made her lose her hair and swell up uncomfortably. She received wonderful care at Texas Children’s Hospital. I remember her giving a spinal tap to her teddy bear, using thoughtful language and loving hands, just as I am certain was done to her.

Thankfully, two years of chemotherapy conquered Katherine’s cancer. She is now a thriving high school sophomore with No Evidence of Disease, aka Full Remission.

Unfortunately, a young girl in my local school community is in her own battle with ALL right now.

Riley is a third-grader who has been fighting cancer for over a year. She has learned recently that she needs a bone marrow transplant.

While Riley’s family is hoping that her sister will be a compatible bone marrow donor, it is not a guarantee. In an effort to improve her chances of finding a match, Riley has begun a campaign to enroll people in Be the Match.

Be the Match is a national blood marrow donor registry that matches compatible donors with those in need. I first learned of Be the Match when I ran the Miracle Match 50K in 2016.

Before you start worrying about needles and scary things involved in joining Be the Match, let me tell you how easy it is to get yourself on the blood marrow donor registry.

No, wait…Riley can tell you all about it:

Did you know that spit saves lives?

The impressive and inspiring part of Riley’s campaign is that she wants to use her situation to help improve the lives of others. There are thousands of people waiting for a bone marrow match. More donors means better odds of finding a match.

You can request a Be the Match registry kit. The swab will be sent to your home. It takes less than a minute to do the whole thing.

You have the power to save a life in less than a minute. Spit saves lives!

Please, won’t you #spitforriley?


medical swab text overlay your spit could save a life