LOCATION: Irvine, CA
Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Boyz 2 Men or NKOTB? NSYNC
WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB?
I work for Be The Match – the national marrow registry for the U.S. I work with patients and their families, surrounding community and volunteers to set up marrow drives, fundraisers and awareness campaigns. Our end goal is to grow the registry in hopes of facilitating more life-saving transplants to our patients in need.
WHAT FUELS YOU TO TAKE ACTION?
I left college only knowing one thing – that I wanted to make a positive difference in the world. I was one of these families that I work with now when my aunt was diagnosed with leukemia in 1999 and needed a marrow transplant. When she was sick, she was the strongest one in the family. Even on the toughest days I am able to keep going because I do my work in her honor and memory.
WHAT IS A RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU’RE PROUD OF?
I recently fundraised over $4,000 at an elementary school – $2,000 of it being in CHANGE. If you work in non-profit you will probably agree, fundraising is the hardest part of the job and sometimes we might find ourselves discounting who will donate and who wont. A little elementary school in Huntington Beach raised the $4,000 in one week all in honor of one of their teacher’s daughters who lost her battle with MDS two years ago. I sure was humbled by their simple, yet HUGE contribution to Be The Match.
WHO IS SOMEONE YOU ADMIRE AND WHY?
Kim McGrath – recent transplant recipient and wife to Supercross Champ Jeremy McGrath. She is a mother of two little girls and the wife of an always traveling, very busy, and very popular athlete. When she got sick, they decided as a family to go public with her story in hopes of helping others. Helping others she did – by adding over 3,000 new donors to the registry and raising $250,000. Within months, 6 of those new donors went on to save other people’s lives. She received her unrelated transplant and within 25 days she was home from the hospital (that’s almost unheard of). One year later she is cancer free, a full-time mom AND store owner! I had the pleasure of meeting her a month ago and let’s just say, there were a lot of happy tears. She’s my definition of a fighter.