Be The Match had the pleasure and honor of sharing their mission with over 100 attendees at the 2014 Charities@Work conference earlier this April. As the featured activity in the Experience Lab, attendees participated in assembling Swab Kits used to identify the DNA type of potential marrow donors for the Be The Match Registry.

The event was sponsored by Aetna who exemplifies a truly remarkable partner in adding more potential donors to the registry. To date, Aetna has sponsored more than 142 marrow donor registry drives nationwide. Over 1900 Aetna employees have joined Be The Match Registry as potential bone marrow donors. Some of those registry members have been matched to a patient and gone on to donate marrow for a life saving transplant. Every four minutes someone in the US is diagnosed with blood cancer. For those needing a transplant, 70% will need to look outside their family and to Be The Match to find a marrow donor. Without partners like Aetna, the work that Be The Match does would not be possible.

The cause, kits and mission of Be The Match were brought to life when Joe, a recent transplant recipient, talked about his journey and the impact of the transplant on his family. As a result of the transplant, Joe’s wife has a husband, his children a father and the community a valued civic leader.

The Kit Making project was a great example of a hands on activity that companies can participate in to both educate and engage employees. Using those kits to facilitate company and community wide drives offers organizations the unique and special opportunity to help build communities of cures through their support of Be The Match.

A company can have a great impact on saving lives. One out of every 500 people who join the marrow registry is called to be a potential donor. By involving your employees you can host marrow donor drives, assemble swab kits or hold a fund raising event to give patients in need of a transplant a second chance at life. The outcome of these activities has the potential to have huge impact. It literally puts the power to save lives in the hands or shall we say ‘cheeks’ of ordinary people. Be The Match provides companies with the ultimate employee engagement opportunity – the ability to potentially save a life.

On behalf of be The Match, we want to once again thank Aetna and all the attendees of the 2014 Charities@Work Experience Lab for supporting the patients we serve. To bring Be The Match to your workplace please contact Angie Dahl at 612-884-8670 or adahl[at]

Maya, now 22, remembers growing up and seeing her best friend’s dad carrying around a little case with vials and needles. He had diabetes, and it was then that she decided she never wanted to have that disease.
When she was 21, Maya first developed diabetes symptoms. While she was playing basketball one day, she became thirsty and couldn’t see the other players. A few days later, she noticed she could not read license plates while driving.

Maya went to the eye doctor for a vision test. The doctor asked her some questions about her vision and later told her to find a doctor to care for her diabetes. Maya says her diagnosis was the easy part – daily living is much more challenging. She is constantly reminded to check her sugars and take insulin. She longs for the day when diabetes does not exist. Until then, she finds comfort in the support, education and research funded by the American Diabetes Association.

At age 2, Allison was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Two years later, she began attending the family swimming program at Easter Seals. The program provided Allison with the exercise she needed to increase her range of motion and relax her muscles.

At 14, Allison wanted to create a place where all children, those with disabilities and those without, could play together, side by side. She was asked to serve as the youngest member of the advisory board for her local children’s park. When her role as design consultant for one of the first fully accessible parks for children with disabilities ended, she thanked a pool of more than 4,000 people for helping to make her dream a reality.

The Easter Seal Society is proud of the role that its services played in helping Allison to develop her greatest potential. But more than that, the Easter Seal Society is proud that Allison has already started giving back to her community.