Meet Your Inspiration
Meet Tommi, transplant recipient and Champion Challenge fundraiser, and Olivia and Sophia, twins still searching for their match.
After months of symptoms and worsening back pain, Tommi was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. A bone marrow transplant was her best treatment option.
While her sister, Amy, was a suitable donor match, because of Amy’s complications with COVID-19, Tommi almost required an unrelated donor. But eventually, Amy got the green light to donate.
“There’s not one part of my life that hasn’t changed since my diagnosis. Be the Match helps with these issues,” Tommi says.
To pay it forward, she joined the Champion Challenge to raise money for Be The Match®. “Part of the fun was choosing a goal to work towards. I needed to work on my strength from those months in the hospital, so my goal was 30 minutes of exercise a day.”
After getting her second chance at life, Tommi is making sure other patients get theirs—just like a true champion.
Olivia and Sophia—still searching
At 3 months old, identical twins Olivia and Sophia were diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anemia, a rare blood disorder that occurs when the bone marrow fails to make red blood cells.
For the first 12 years of their lives, the twins managed their disease by receiving blood transfusions every few weeks. Now 14, they require transfusions more frequently, putting them at risk for iron overload. A blood stem cell transplant is currently their best treatment option.
A mom-described “good mix of sporty and girly,” Olivia and Sophia love to play softball, basketball and hit golf balls with friends. They’re searching for two suitable marrow donor matches. Otherwise, a single donor would need to make two donations a year apart, putting their parents in the very difficult position of having to choose who should receive their transplant first.
“The twins have done everything together and they should go through transplant at the same time,” their mom, Falon, said.
Will you be a Champion for Olivia and Sophia? Join the Champion Challenge today to help them find their life-changing donor matches.