• Communications Team

Be The Match Joins Family Fun Fitness Night to Recruit New Donors

The 10th annual Family Fun Fitness Night took place on September 18, 2019. Be The Match hosted a donor registry drive at the event to recruit donors that could provide life-saving treatment for those suffering from diseases like sickle cell and leukemia.

Health and physical fitness play an important role in student success. That's why Topeka Public Schools began hosting their annual Family Fun Fitness Night 10 years ago to encourage families to participate in healthy activities together. The event has grown substantially in the last decade, with almost 90 community partners and schools participating in this year's event.

The event is hosted each year at Hummer Sports Park. Community partners and schools line the track with booths that give information about healthy activities families can participate in together. Some of the booths focus on physical health, while others may focus on emotional and mental health.

One of the community partners that participated this year was Be The Match, an organization dedicated to registering potential donors for treatable diseases like sickle cell disease, leukemia, lymphoma and others. At Family Fun Fitness Night, Be The Match hosted a donor registry drive to recruit new registry members ages 18-44 who could potentially save a patient's life. Donors ages 18-44 are especially needed because medical research shows that "younger donors are best for patients and provide the greatest chance for transplant success," according to the Be The Match website.

Why should you join the Be The Match donor registry? Because you could directly affect the lives of people in our very own TPS family.

Josiah Matlock with his father Brett Matlock

Josiah Matlock is a student at State Street Elementary and has leukemia. Last year, he had a relapse during treatment and was in need of a bone marrow donor. Although Matlock's mother was found to be a match, the journey is not so easy for others. For those who do not have a close relative that qualifies as a donor, the National Bone Marrow Registry is their next step. However, according to Be The Match, less than 20 percent of minorities are registered as donors, leaving the patient with only a 66 percent chance of finding a donor.

This is why donor registry drives are so important. Not only do they bring awareness to certain diseases that can be cured through bone marrow and blood donation, but they are also critical in finding matches for patients in need of life-saving treatment. Matlock's survival rate rose from only 50 percent to 80 because of the bone marrow transplant.

We are proud to partner with organizations like Be The Match that are dedicated to saving lives like that of Josiah Matlock. Click here to read more about Josiah's story.

Visit www.bethematch.org to learn more about the organization and how to join the donor registry.

©2018 by TPS Communicator.

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