Gillian is a transplant recipient, avid runner and Be The Match® fundraiser. In 2012, Gillian was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) while in the middle of training for the 2012 London Marathon. Her diagnosis, like many, came unexpectedly—just two hours after the birth of her first granddaughter. Gillian's only option for a cure was a marrow or blood stem cell transplant.
Gillian's diagnosis forced her to drop out of the 2012 marathon, but she found a perfectly matched donor and received her transplant in 2013.
Determination and gratitude
Grateful and wanting to pay it forward, Gillian was determined to finish what she set out to do—this time with a greater purpose. Coming out of retirement, her goal was to not only finish the marathon, but fundraise with Team Be The Match.
Throughout her marathon training, Gillian posted weekly Facebook updates to inspire others to give to her personal fundraising page. She gave extra incentive by offering to match every donation she received up to $5,000.
Gillian worked tirelessly to spread the word about Be The Match to her co-workers, friends, family and local community. "I want to give hope to other transplant recipients and show them they can regain their lives when given a second chance," she said.
On April 28, 2019 Gillian crossed the finish line of the 2019 Virgin Money Long Marathon. In addition, she raised $5,000 through Team Be The Match and with her generous matching dollar incentive, raised a total of $10,000—enough to add 100 new potential donors to the registry!
Find out how you can help patients through Team Be The Match. It’s your chance to fundraise your way and let patients know you will not stand by while they wait for a match.