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Featured fundraiser: Maddie Maxson

Maddie Maxson, Be The Match fundraiser

Maddie Maxson was 5 years old when her mom was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). After two rounds of chemotherapy, Maddie’s mom was ready for transplant, but she had no suitable matches on the registry and her only sibling was a half match. Despite the circumstances, Maddie’s family didn’t lose hope.

Luckily, with the help of Be The Match®, Maddie’s mom was able to get a transplant in December of 2011 using umbilical cord blood units. At the time, Maddie was really young but she remembers her parents trying to make their lives feel as normal as possible. Maddie’s mom didn’t want her and her brother to be sad or feel confused during the treatment process. Watching her mother's strength and bravery inspired Maddie to make an impact in any way she could.

Have a cow, help save a life

Now as a senior in high school, Maddie is helping raise funds for the organization that helped save her mother’s life. Maddie wants to educate her community on what Be The Match does for families like hers while incorporating a community tradition.

As a kid, Maddie remembers driving along the road and seeing five wooden cows in someone’s yard. The days would go by and the cows would move from house to house. At first, she had no clue what they were there for or where the cows came from, but came to learn the purpose behind this was in fact to help raise money for a cause.

The unique fundraising idea starts out with choosing a random community member (who has a connection to the school) to place the cows in their yard. However, removing the cows comes at a price—a donation to a designated non profit organization. The community member can choose to give a donation to have the cows removed or donate more to get them placed into another community member’s yard of their choice. As a bonus, they can pay a little bit more as “insurance”, so the cows won’t ever end up back in their yard.

The process repeats throughout the school year and as the cows move so does the amount of funds raised. Each community member who participates also receives vital information about Be The Match and its life-saving mission.

So many reasons why

"My parents never received a bill for transplant and they’ve tried to give back when they are able, so I know how important this cause is to my family," said Maddie. Looking back on her mom’s battle with AML and the financial and emotional support Maddie’s family received during that time was more than enough for her to dedicate senior year to supporting Be The Match

Maddie’s mom is currently a volunteer courier, traveling to ensure the safe delivery of life-saving blood stem cells for transplant. Through advocacy, Maddie and her family maintain their connection to Be The Match and hope by educating their community more lives will be saved.

Want to support patients and donors, just like Maddie is doing? We invite you to learn more about creating your own fundraiser. Make an impact today, it’s easy to get started!