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How one cheek swab turned a family into givers

Meet the Finches, a family from Montana whose giving spirit continues to blossom and touch lives. 

In fact, the term “blood brothers” takes on a whole new meaning for Austin and Kyle Finch, whose brotherly bond now includes being blood stem cell donors. 

The story all starts at Montana State University in 2015. Only a freshman at the time, Austin felt inspired to join the Be The Match Registry® after hearing a transplant recipient’s mother share her story during a visit from Be The Match® to one of his classes.

Austin’s decision was timely, to say the least. Just a few months later, he received a call that he was a potential match for a patient. When the original donor backed out, Austin immediately stepped up and said yes, without hesitation. His peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) went to a woman in her 60s, who let him know she was doing well a few years after the donation. 

Kyle watched his big brother’s donor experience the way little brothers often do: with pride and inspiration. He swiftly swabbed his cheek and joined the registry through Be The Match on Campus®. 

Kyle’s turn took a little longer, but each year that passed he re-committed to the registry and kept his contact information up to date. After about four-and-a-half years, in December 2021, Kyle received the call that he was a potential match for a patient in need. Like his big brother, Kyle didn’t even flinch and quickly said yes. He donated PBSC in a simple procedure with little to no recovery time. Kyle has since learned that the recipient of the blood stem cell transplant was a 60-year-old man whose immediate outlook after transplant looked good.

Their mother, Kim, felt enormous pride after watching her two sons (literally—she accompanied both donations) selflessly commit to being blood stem cell donors. She even felt inspired to step up and donate, too. 

While not eligible to join the registry, Kim and her husband, Nate (the boys’ father) found another meaningful way to honor their sons and support our mission. They decided to make a financial gift to the Be The Match Foundation®. Her contribution will certainly help lives as foundation funds are used to help pay for the many out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., travel, lodging, food) that can burden, or sometimes even prevent, a patient’s blood stem cell transplant journey. 

We would like to thank the Finch family for their generous commitment to our mission. Kim, Kyle and Austin are a wonderful example of how one small act—a cheek swab to register—is like a seed that can bud, blossom and branch out far beyond our own family tree. Together, we can transplant hope to more patients living with life-threatening blood cancers or other blood disorders like sickle cell. 

You can make a difference in someone’s life too. Learn more about joining the Be The Match Registry , or discover more ways you can support our cause.