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Making Connections

More than a decade ago, Aaron had the opportunity to donate his own cells to a patient in need of a life-saving marrow transplant. In 2020, he found another way to continue delivering second chances at life directly to patients in need.

When the global pandemic hit in 2020, Be The Match® quickly realized that every single aspect of how we save lives would need to change. We take pride in our ability to transport each marrow donation with our own two hands, to wherever in the world the patient is waiting, on time. But, when commercial flights were suddenly grounded and the world came to a halt, that approach had to be adjusted. Thanks to tremendous partners like Aaron, our work continued.

When two passions collide

Aaron remembers his passion for aviation going back to his childhood. Today, this passion is still what drives him as a pilot and CEO of First Aviation. He doesn’t abide by the adage of ‘do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Rather, he believes that doing what you love requires perseverance and commitment. Aaron has a strong skillset in these areas, which led him to join the Be The Match Registry® in the first place. Just six months after swabbing his cheek and joining the registry, Aaron was contacted as a potential match. He said ‘yes’ and became a marrow donor.

Years after donating, Aaron reconnected with Be The Match and learned more about the complexity of making our mission possible. Looking back, he realizes now what he didn’t at the time he donated—for every single marrow transplant Be The Match facilitates, there is an entire team making each critical step possible, from the marrow donor to the patient and each of their healthcare teams, to the individual courier that picks up and delivers life-saving cells to wherever they need to go. When our ability to do this was at risk, we reached out to Aaron for help again—and again, he said yes.

Part of the solution

When commercial flights were unreliable and international travel seemed impossible, Aaron and his friends in the aviation industry stepped forward and made the impossible possible. Through his connections, The Corporate Angel Network and individual pilots donated their own time and resources to secure 14 private flight segments, allowing eight registry members to safely donate and eleven patients to receive their life-saving cells on time.

While we are incredibly grateful for Aaron’s partnership, he humbly points out that he’s one piece of the puzzle. Aaron wasn’t at all surprised by the response of his peers in the aviation industry—despite being hit hard by the pandemic, this group of individuals is passionate about what they do and committed to being part of the solution.

Watch this video to learn more about the impact of making the impossible possible in 2020.