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"Be A Hero Become A Donor"
The Be A Hero Become A Donor Foundation is a 5013C non-profit who relies on the generosity of individuals like you to help us "save lives".
|Be A Hero Become A Donor
Number of donors the
Be A Hero Become A Donor Foundation has added to the Be The Match Registry since 2007
Amount of money the
Be A Hero Become A Donor
Foundation has contributed toward the tissue typing cost necessary to add an individual to the registry.
Since last month when I announced we had 21 perfect matches and counting, we have learned of two more lives saved and one to come. I knew with 13,000 plus donors on the registry because of BAHBAD donor events, the matches would come, but now I believe we will start to see them increase exponentially as these 13,000 plus remain on the registry and we add additional donors. My goal of 4000 BAHBAD registrants a year is now possible due in part to our partnership with DKMS Americas who will be funding all of our new registrants. All we need now are the venues and volunteers to get this done!
The perfect example of how YOU can make a difference by empowering your community is with the Torrey family. Jack was diagnosed with ALD in the spring of 2007 just like Evan. He was transplanted in NY with donated cord blood, whom they refer to as the "little lady from Detroit" and today is a vibrant young man, loving life. His family will never forget the HOPE Jack's donor gave to them, and started running marrow drives as part of Evan's Entourage (BAHBAD) at his annual transplant birthday party in 2008. Since then, the Torreys have held at least a half dozen donor events at parties at their house, community events in their town of Maplewood, NJ, and just recently, Jack's aunt held a Lifesaver Swim Marrowthon with her kid's swim team where they recruited 28 donors and raised over $1500 for BAHBAD. This one family who has recruited over 200 donors, got the wonderful new that their first perfect match went on to donate to a patient! This hero was a friend who joined the marrow registry at Jack's 1st post-transplant party. I hope to share Janice's story next month.
Donor Danielle joined with us last year at a college event. She shares her journey with us below. I will preface her words with the fact that "a free tshirt" is what motivated her to sit and listen to our message, but that "shirt" ultimately ended up saving a life!!
And finally, OJ, one of our first perfect matches, one of Evan's first water polo coaches, was set to donate in the fall of 2008. His patient got too sick, but he just got the call again that she is ready to go in early September, so OJ will go through his health screening in a few weeks. Stay tuned....
Consider being part of Evan's Entourage and helping save lives with us. We CANNOT do this without YOU!!
Feel free to contact me directly at 949/842-9975 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Forever grateful,Gina Cousineau, Executive Director
Gina pictured with son Derek, 16, after his first blood donation in March at event put on by BAHBAD Club at San Clemente High School
|"Hero" Danielle shares her donation story....|
Taking my time walking into class one day, I saw a small table filled with free stuff and people standing all around it. Obviously curious, I walked over to see what the fuss was about. The table, as it turned out, was for Be A Hero Become A Donor (BAHBAD) event. Signing up got anyone a free shirt so, naturally (being a broke college student) I wanted that shirt and sat down to talk to the BAHBAD people. The volunteers informed me about the new donation method (PBSC) and the fact that a simple donation, much like donating blood, could save someone's life. I was hesitant to register because I was under the assumption that donating hurt and that it involved surgery or at least in depth doctor and hospital visits, but decided that if I didn't register, not only would I potentially be letting someone pass on because of my unfounded fears; but I also wouldn't get that free shirt. I swabbed my cheek, wrote my contact information down, grabbed some free loot and headed to class. It took less than 10 minutes from seeing the booth to walking to class after finishing.
About 8 months later, I received a voicemail saying that I might be a match for a 19 year old young man with non-lymphoblastic leukemia and that if I was interested in donating still, to call back. I returned the phone call a little weary of what this meant for me but after talking to a Donor Representative who explained the details (in detail) and the processes to me, I decided to go through with the first step: blood testing.
After the blood test (20 minutes of my time) was analyzed (a few weeks later) I received another call from the same woman telling me that I was, in fact, a good match and that if I still chose to, I could go ahead and move onto the next step.
The next step was to get my health checked. I did a chest X-Ray, another blood test (this time to check for any abnormalities) and a heart check which took me from start to finish about 2 hours. I also got to meet my Donor Representative who was to become part of a team of awesome people working to make me feel good while doing good.
The really abnormal bonus I discovered in this process was that any tests to assess my health was free and I was then fully confident that I was in great health, which is something everyone wonders about from time to time. The tests all came back normal and I was clear to proceed once again.
My Donor Representative was very kind and informed me every time we talked and saw each other that if at any time I decided I didn't want to continue with this, that I could walk away with no kind of repercussion. I had made the decision early on, however, to go through with it to the end no matter what because by this time, I was slowly realizing that all humans are family in a way, and we can all share long, beautiful lives if we each decide to work together as a team.
The first day of the injections came around in April 2011 and honestly, I was nervous. I was nervous that these shots would hurt and even more nervous that the side effects of the shots would hurt even worse. Pictured in my mind's eye was a fragile, tired, bed-ridden version of myself which turned out to be completely the opposite. Not only did my injections not hurt, but the side effects I was prepared for, did not happen nearly as severe as I had imagined. The only side effects I had were sore muscles which was easily muted by Excedrin (and for anyone that's been to the gym, you've got it much worse than I did).
For 5 days I had these injections along with a fantastic home nurse to administer them. On the last day, the donation day, I got up early, went to the hospital and met up with my donor team. The staff was sweet, caring and they waited on me hand and foot while I was there. The donation itself was unlike anything I predicted it to be. There was no pain involved and I didn't have to have any kind of intrusive surgery or procedures. The donation took a few hours but, during that time I was lying down with nice warm blankets in my own comfortable P.J's with dvd's on the flat screen and funny, sweet nurses keeping me company. I walked out of the hospital a little stiff but pleased that I was able to save someone's life for just a few hours of my own. The following day I slept in in the nice hotel arranged for me right next to the hospital and upon waking up, felt totally normal again, aside from being a little tired still.
My experience was super simple, easy, comfortable, pressure-free and, as crazy as it might sound, a little fun. I had fun in the hospital bed with my movies and nurses, doctors and staff and I had fun that night after all was said and done relaxing in my nice hotel bed. In fact, I would venture to say that if I could donate to someone once a year, I would do it in the blink of an eye.
BAHBAD has helped save so many lives just by encouraging college students like myself to be heros. The marrow registry is a fantastic, reliable resource to those in need of a marrow transplant and cannot continue without the registrants such as myself. I went in for a free shirt, and came out with so much more. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that donating marrow is worth it. I'd strongly encourage anyone from anywhere to sign up and make a difference. After all, if you were in need of a transplant, wouldn't you do anything to be able to find that 1 match? Just think, that 1 match for a child, a mother, a sister, a friend... could be you.
Danielle, PBSC Donor May 2011
And you can be part of this lifesaving effort by joining the registry today ONLINE
100 Cheeks Challenge
The goal of this campaign is to recruit 100 new donors. You will do this by enlisting the help of 9 volunteers. Once you have your team put together, you will spend time promoting DKMS and the need for bone marrow donors in your target community. For one week following this promotion, you and the members of your team will each actively recruit 10 people to join the registry: 10 x 10 = 100!
Tweaking the challenge to fit your needs....
Instead of 9 volunteers, we don't care if you do this alone or if you have 99 volunteers who only have to swab one person each. Our thoughts are you can do this at your church, with your club, sports team, office mates, office building, an entire company, school, neighborhood, community event that exists like a fiesta, blood drive, or health fair, or an event that you plan just for this.
Because DKMS Americas is an accredited bone marrow donor center, the largest in the world by the way, they have their own consent forms, one page only, and swab kits, 2, so everything has become that much easier. When you order a kit for your "100 Cheeks in a Week" Challenge, everything you need to educate, confirm the individual is eligible, as well as supplies to place them on registry will be included. And there is no restriction on age of volunteers recruiting, so middle school and high schoolers are encourage to join the challenge.
Perks for you when joining our challenge:
Individuals who sign up will receive BAHBAD T-Shirt, Tank Top, or Girly T; a hat or visor; BAHBAD or Evan's Entourage car decal; as well as BAHBAD wristbands for you and your volunteers (up to 10).
To reward you for your efforts, but since we have no idea what kind of response we will get, once we have ten participants complete the challenge, they will be entered into a drawing for a $100 cash prize which we would love you to consider giving to your favorite charity.
1 out of 10 chance it could be you, not bad odds and a good added incentive!!
We also want to do something even more enticing, so all participants who have completed the challenge at the end in one year, June 2012, you will be entered into a
raffle for our grand prize....
drum roll please....
an Apple iPad!!
We already have our first "10" members of Evan's Entourage committing to the Challenge:
·Isaac's Foundation hosting both a Walk and Blood (July)
·Garcia Family honoring their son Raulito and ALD Families (July)
·Passananti Family honoring Robert and his donor (July)
·Joshua's 2nd Annual Celebration of Life (July)
·Fundraiser for Leukemia/Lymphoma Society-Karri Huckstep and friends (August)
·Blair's Tree of Hope Dodgeball Tournament (Sept.)
·Cadence's Birthday Celebration Blood Drive and Marrow Registry (October)
·Connor's House Blood Drive (October)
·Henry Tucker Foundation Ragball Tournament (October)
·San Clemente High School BAHBAD Club (June)
·YOUR NAME HERE
Contact Gina for more info and to discuss how to make your "challenge" effective in your community.
"Our Foundation's Wish List"
1. Publisher needed for Evan's mom's book
2. Interns/Volunteers looking for experience in all aspects of grass roots non-profit, including marketing, public relations, fundraising, event planning, and the like
3. Volunteers to work at donor events during weekdays, evenings, and weekends in Orange County, Los Angeles and Inland Empire, with possibility of employment opportunities in future as Event Managers
4. Groups interested in hosting fundraiser for our foundation
5. Groups interested in hosting their own donor event to include Marrow Registry, which can also include blood drive and/or Donate Life opportunity
6. Individuals to start "Be A Hero Become A Donor" clubs at their high schools and colleges
7. Auction Committee members to help us with our two fundraisers in 2011, our annual Evan Cousineau Cup Water Polo Tournament in October and the first annual Evan Cousineau Winter Classic Ice Hockey Tournament in December
8. Auction items for two fundraisers mentioned above
BAHBAH partners with DKMS Americas
The Be A Hero Become A Donor (BAHBAD) Foundation's mission is to educate, empower and provide opportunities for individuals to share their vital resources and give life. Our number one priority is
to recruit quality bone marrow donors to the national registry, as well as encourage blood and cord blood donation, and the commitment to organ and tissue donation though Donate Life America.
The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients and others in need of lifesaving transplants. DKMS is the world's largest bone marrow donor center.
Beginning June 18th, 2011, The Be A Hero Become A Donor Foundation will become a West Coast Ambassador for DKMS by partnering to recruit new bone marrow donors.
OUR STORIES COLLIDE:
Like the Cousineau family's journey with Evan, DKMS America's COO, Katharina Harf's life changed forever when her mother, Mechtild, was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Sadly, Mechtild lost her battle when Katharina was only 14. Read more
From tragedy to triumph...Recognizing the importance of finding suitable bone marrow donors for every patient in need, Katharina's father, Peter Harf, founded DKMS Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei gGmbH (meaning German Bone Marrow Donor Center in English) in Germany in 1991. Today, Katharina continues her father's lifesaving work in the U.S. Her personal goal in life is to help other leukemia patients so that no family has to endure the pain that her family suffered.
OUR TEAMS COME TOGETHER:
BAHBAD will help to organize, staff, and train volunteers at donor recruitment events and DKMS will facilitate the tissue typing, donor registration and will make the typing data searchable on the national and worldwide registrues. This partnership will allow BAHBAD to concentrate its efforts on recruitment instead of fundraising, although fundraising for both non-profits will continue to be critical to our causes.