US – RRT assists at the Be The Match Walk/Run in New York City

Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer such as Leukemia and Lymphoma. On Saturday, September 19, 2015, The Be The Match Foundation held one of their Walk / Run Fundraising Events at the Roosevelt Island Firefighters Field in the heart of New York City. In these types of events one can be a lifesaver to some of the cancer victims, and the RRT volunteers from New York wasted no time signing up to assist and show their support.

The Start Line for the 5km Event

The Start Line for the 5km Event

Over the past 25 years, Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. In 2015 alone, the NMDP provided $3.4 million to 2,000 families through the Be The Match Patient Assistance Program. They work with the patients to help them receive the care and treatment they need for a second chance at life. Some of the ways they are able to help the patients is by assisting with getting them an affordable transplant, finding a matching marrow donor for the transplant, and by investing in cutting-edge research to develop better treatments and finding solutions to post-transplant complications.

A beautiful setting for the Be The Match Event.

A beautiful setting for the Be The Match Event.

At 8:30am the Event Village opened and the crowds made their way to the registration desks. An hour later the opening ceremony began with a Welcome Program on stage which included handing out the awards to the teams who had raised the most in the pre-event fundraising. At 9:45 the tot trot started for children who wanted to participate and become a hero to the victims. Then at 10:00am the 5k runners shot across the start line and just five minutes later the 1k runners followed hot on their heels.

A RRT Volunteer taking part in the 5k run.

A RRT Volunteer taking part in the 5k run.

Handing out fresh water and bananas to the runners at the finish line.

Handing out fresh water and bananas to the runners at the finish line.

RRT volunteers assisted at the event in every way they could. They assisted with both the set up and tear down of the event. A few of the volunteers helped sign the runners in at the registration desks. During the warm-up session they showed their support by doing the exercises along with the participants. As well as providing chilled water bottles and refreshments at the RRT Tent, the volunteers also stood at the finish line and passed them out to the weary runners.

Warming up with exercises before the run.

Warming up with exercises before the run.

The RRT tent providing refreshments to all.

The RRT tent providing refreshments to all.

All runners wore a bib with their participant number, but specialty bibs were available for marrow donors, transplant recipients and supporters who were participating in honour or memory of a special person. The RRT Volunteers found it very moving to see so many runners come together to support a common goal.

A few of the RRT Volunteers posing for a group photo.

A few of the RRT Volunteers posing for a group photo.

The New York RRT were very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this event.