It’s been 17 years since William (Bill) Pomeroy received his life-saving blood stem cell transplant to treat an aggressive form of leukemia—thanks to a fully matched donor he found on the Be The Match Registry. But Bill knows that not all patients are so lucky.
The chance of finding a fully matched, available donor on the registry is 79% for White patients, but those odds shrink to just 29% for Black or African American patients. Patients are more likely to match a donor of their own ethnic background.
This inequity in finding a suitable donor has troubled Bill for many years, and is part of what inspired him to establish the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in 2005.
Over the last 13 years, Bill and his family have been generous and dedicated partners of Be The Match, serving on both the Be The Match Foundation® and Be The Match boards. The foundation has worked closely with Be The Match to expand our recruitment efforts, especially for ethnically diverse donors.
In recent years, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has played an integral role in expanding Be The Match’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) program. Together, with their generous support, we have been able to add several new HCBU schools to the program.
Each campus we partner with allows us to spread more awareness of the need for Black donors and donors from ethnically diverse backgrounds. As a result, we’ve been able to diversify the registry to increase access to fully matched donors for more patients.
To accelerate these efforts, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation sponsored a matching gift opportunity last September in recognition of World Marrow Donor Day. The campaign inspired an incredible 3,330 gifts, resulting in a matching $500,000 donation from the foundation.
Now, we are excited to announce that the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has generously increased their gift by an additional $300,000---bringing their most recent investment in Be The Match to $800,000.
We are beyond grateful for Bill and his family’s generosity and support. Their latest investment empowers us with the resources and staffing needed to accelerate our shared focus on reducing the inequity on the registry to deliver equal outcomes for all.
Thanks to the foundation’s incredible support, we can double the size of our HBCU program, adding eight more colleges/universities this fiscal year and a projected seven more schools next year. Thanks to Bill and his family, we can add thousands of potential donors to the registry—some of whom may go on to be future life-changers and life-savers for patients needing transplant.
For a glimpse at the impact the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has made, watch for upcoming stories featuring registry members who joined the registry during a Pomeroy-sponsored recruitment event and later went on to donate blood stem cells for a patient.