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How These College Interns Are Saving Lives and Breaking Records with Be The Match

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Be The Match, the organization behind the world’s most diverse registry of blood stem cell and marrow donors, announced that the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has granted them an additional $300,000.

This generous contribution will allow the organization to further diversify the Be The Match Registry by expanding its presence at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This initiative is aimed at saving more lives of Black and African American patients who are fighting blood cancers and blood diseases, such as sickle cell disease.

This new donation supplements the Pomeroy Foundation’s previous gift of $500,000 in the fall of 2022, bringing their total investment in the current school year to $800,000.

Joy King, Chief Advancement Officer at Be The Match and Executive Director of the Be The Match Foundation, underlined the importance of diversifying the registry, expressing gratitude for the Pomeroy Foundation’s contributions.

The foundation was established by Bill Pomeroy, who is a cancer survivor, a former member of the NMDP/Be The Match Board of Directors, and a current Emeritus member of the Be The Match Foundation Board of Directors.

Be The Match currently collaborates with 23 HBCUs, providing paid internships for students who act as health equity ambassadors and peer educators. These students lead registry drives, presentations, and awareness campaigns to boost the number of Black and African American donors on the national registry.

The grant from the Pomeroy Foundation has allowed Be The Match to add eight more interns from several universities, including Bethune Cookman University and Norfolk State University. These new interns have already added over 850 new donors to the registry in the first months of their internships.

Ethnic background plays a significant role in finding a matching donor, and Black and African American patients have only a 29% chance of finding a fully matched donor, compared to a 79% chance for white patients.

The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is dedicated to supporting programs that diversify the Be The Match Registry, providing hope for patients regardless of their racial or ethnic background. Over its 35-year history, Be The Match has facilitated more than 120,000 blood stem cell donations, offering patients a life-saving second chance.

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