Riding her bike to classes the fall of her senior year at Duke University, Lindsay became completely breathless. “She was used to being very active and it suddenly became impossible for her to do things—like carry her bike upstairs—that she normally did daily,” her mom, Billie Rawot, said.
Lindsay was soon diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and immediately started chemotherapy. In fact, she would eventually receive four rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, none of them got her into remission.
“Lindsay wanted to stay in school—she was determined to not let her diagnosis interfere,” Billie said. And Lindsay did just that, not only finishing school, but graduating with special honors—even traveling to Europe after graduation. “She did not slow down!” her mom said.
When it was determined that a blood stem cell transplant was Lindsay’s best chance for a cure, her friends organized multiple donor drives hoping to find Lindsay’s match. At least a dozen people have gone on to donate blood stem cells and bone marrow in Lindsay's name as a result of the swabbing events. Lindsay’s mom sees it as a continual gift of life. “If not for Lindsay, others may not have received this tremendous gift.”
In April 2010, after her donor match was found, Lindsay received a blood stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, the transplant didn’t take, so in the fall, she received a second transplant from the same donor. Sadly, Lindsay passed away in February of 2011.
Since then, her friends and family have recognized June 8, her birthday, as “Lindsay Day” to honor her memory. On this day, her hometown friends in Ohio, and her college community who loved and supported her write letters, exchange stories and do something special in Lindsay's name.
“Lindsay is a constant source of inspiration and strength not only for her family and friends, but for all those whose paths she crossed,” Lindsay’s close friend, Amanda Zwilling, told Duke University’s The Chronicle. “Lindsay’s passion, optimism, strength and perseverance will forever be with everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.”
This year, in honor of Lindsay’s 35th birthday, her family is donating $10,000 to Be The Match’s Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program (Amy Program) that focuses on reducing post-transplant complications. Billie shared, “Be The Match and blood stem cell transplants are a gift of life—it was a gift that Lindsay received that gave her hope.”
If you’d like to honor Lindsay and join her family in supporting groundbreaking transplant research, please consider making a gift to the Amy Program today if you can. To learn about how to have your gift toward the Amy Program matched, please contact Amy Bigot at email@example.com