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13 Runners Race to Raise Awareness for Bone Marrow

Mar 22, 2011 by Gift of Life News

Runners on Team Gift of Life’s NYC Half-Marathon team completed an amazing Race this past Sunday, March 20th, 2011.  Highlights of the race included a loop around Central Park, through Time Square to the Westside highway, ending near Battery Park.  It was frigid, with temperatures in the 40s, but that didn’t stop runners from setting record times. 

Gift of Life’s Half-Marathon Team was comprised of thirteen incredible men and women who chose to run and raise awareness for Gift of Life’s bone marrow registry.    Many of the runners on the team have been personally touched by Gift of Life.  One of those runners, Ben, is a bone marrow donor.  He was joined by his wife, Melissa, a self-proclaimed Gift of Life groupie. 

Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation is one of North America’s public bone marrow, blood stem cell, and umbilical cord blood registries.  The Foundation runs bone marrow recruitment drives throughout the United States for patients suffering from life-threatening diseases in the hopes of finding their match.  Greg, another runner on the team, had previously volunteered at one of these drives in New York City. 

This was the first year Gift of Life partnered with New York Road Runners for the Race and the organization has been overwhelmed by the support that has been received.  Talia ran the 13.1 miles in memory of her father, a bone marrow transplant recipient.  Other runners on the team chose to honor family and friends for the Race.  Donna ran in honor of her coworker, a bone marrow transplant recipient and donor, while Jodie chose to raise awareness for Ezra, a 2 year old boy suffering from Hyper IgM syndrome.  She hopes that the money she raised will help Ezra find his perfect match.

Each new donor test kit costs $54 and funds raised will sponsor potential donors who cannot afford the cost of the kit, but want to be in the registry in the hopes they can save a life.  Many of the potential donors who will be sponsored include college students, who have the opportunity to remain in the registry for years to come because of their age.  To date, the team has raised over $21,000 and will sponsor more than 380 new donors for the registry. Runners have until May 1st to complete their fundraising. 

Gift of Life congratulates all runners who competed in this year’s NYC Half-Marathon and thanks their team and all who supported their efforts for raising awareness for such an important cause.