Ethan, far right, and four of his five Cycling for Donors team members.
Ethan first became introduced to our organization when he joined the Be The Match Registry® at a donor drive hosted by his employer. It wasn’t until four years later that he received the call asking him to donate his blood stem cells to a 1-year-old boy. He had a son the exact same age and knew he couldn’t say no.
Fast forward to today, and Ethan has had the privilege of developing a close relationship with his match recipient and their family. Although they haven’t met in person due to COVID-19, Ethan still gets to stay in touch and create connection through emails and social media.
Cycling for charity
Recently, Ethan and his four work colleagues formed a cycling group that merges their passion for working out and biking with their desire to give back.
“We live next to one of the largest parks in the Midwest and have been riding for a while out there,” Ethan said. “We figured we exercise all the time anyway so why not do it for a good cause?”
Ethan and his cycling colleagues joined our Champion Challenge fundraiser, creating their own “Cycling for Donors” team. Their challenge goal was for each of them to bike 500 miles during the month of June, with a financial goal of raising $500. They quickly surpassed that and have since increased their fundraising goal, hoping to help even more patients in need.
The Cycling for Donors team is pouring all their time and energy into making sure their fundraiser is a success. “I wake up at 4 a.m. to bike, go to work, and then come back and bike until it’s dark out,” Ethan said. They’re even sponsored by a local cycle shop, Trans Am Cyclery, and have recruited a sixth rider who bought a bike just to join their cause.
They hope to expand and get more people involved with their cycling efforts in order to help Be The Match® in the future as well.
Inspiration to give back
Ethan has seen the devastating impact cancer can have on people. His two nieces both battle sickle cell disease and his friend passed away from leukemia. He also knows that not everyone is fortunate enough to find a matching bone marrow donor.
“Both of my nieces are African American and I know this makes it even harder for them to find a donor. I will do anything I can to help out these kids or anyone in need.”
He knows that donating financially is just one way to help. He continuously encourages his friends and family to join the registry, posts about Be The Match on his social media, and works to dispel the myths about what stem cell donation is actually like. He describes his donation process as one of the easiest things he’s done in his life.
“If my efforts make any impact at all, then it’s all worth it.”
Interested in starting your own fundraiser? Join our Champion Challenge today!