Why did you start volunteering with Be The Match?
John Avant is a seasoned courier who has been delivering life-saving cells for Be The Match since 2013. John has always believed that giving back is important and has been volunteering in some capacity for many years. John became a courier in 2013 when he was retiring and began looking around to see how he could give back. A friend of his knew about the Be The Match Courier Program – John looked into it and the rest is history! John remembers that the first attraction to this role was the ability to travel while doing something worthwhile. But, he says, it didn’t take long for his mindset to shift and this opportunity became more about the mission. “The more I do, the more it’s weighted towards the mission. I take a lot of trips now because it needs to be done,” he says.
What is one of your favorite memories so far being a courier?
When John is on a courier trip he is focused on one thing: the patient. John knows that during that trip, 100% of the success of that mission depends on John safely delivering those live-saving cells. For him, each trip has been special, but he will say that when he delivers to a children’s hospital, it is especially meaningful.
What keeps you motivated to volunteer even during the Pandemic?
When COVID-19 first hit, John decided it was best for him put a hold on taking any trips at the moment. But after 2 months he decided that the reward was greater than the risk, so he decided to jump back into volunteering. Since May of 2020 John has taken 16 trips! When thinking about it, John says, “the need has been amplified during the pandemic because less couriers are taking trips for one reason or another. I am in good health so I can do it.” John is an example of why our couriers are selfless and amazing individuals. They put the needs of the patients above their own.