Trista, transplant and grant recipient, with her son
Trista had just started a new job. She was filled with promise of new opportunity when she started noticing little spots all over her body.
Blood tests revealed Trista’s platelet count was extremely low and she was sent to the emergency room. From there she was admitted to the hospital where her life was suddenly turned upside down when she heard her diagnosis: acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Trista knew that her best chance at survival would be a blood stem cell transplant. And she felt incredibly lucky to live just a few hours away from one of the top cancer centers and that her donor match had been found.g
But then, with her emotions still reeling from a life-threatening diagnosis, Trista received more heartbreaking news: she lost her job. How would she be able to cover the out-of-pocket costs related to the blood stem cell transplant she needed for her best chance at survival?
Financial barriers ahead
As required for all transplant patients, Trista had to stay less than an hour away from the hospital. This meant moving her entire family—her partner (and caregiver) and their three children—to an apartment in New York City.
The move was emotional and stressful and they were struggling to pay the rent. Meanwhile, Trista was fighting for her life.
At one point, things got so financially difficult they were facing eviction from the temporary housing required to complete her transplant. But thankfully, Be The Match® stepped in to provide Trista’s family two patient assistance grants to help.
“The Be The Match Foundation Crisis Grant saved us. Words cannot explain what it meant to us,” Trista shared.
Wanda Zimmer: The gift-matching angel
Thanks to a generous gift from Wanda Zimmer, your gift to Be The Match by December 31 will be matched to help patients like Trista overcome financial barriers that could prevent them from receiving the treatment they urgently need. For Wanda, the issue hits very close to home.
In 2011, Wanda was scheduled for a blood stem cell transplant to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia when she received the disheartening call that her donor had backed out.
Two weeks later she went into a coma with septic shock; she wasn’t expected to survive. Thankfully another match was found—her “perfect stranger”—and this person followed through with donating their blood stem cells to Wanda.
Today Wanda is happy and healthy and extremely grateful for her second chance at life. And because she wants to help other patients find their match and get the financial assistance they might need to get through transplant, she and her husband, Robert, have generously promised to match any gift (up to $500,000) by December 31.
Patients need your help right now
No family should have to make the unimaginable choice between getting the life-saving treatment they need or paying rent. Every day we hear more stories like Trista’s—and the number of grant requests continues to climb.
You can help make sure patients are able to go through with transplant and give them the gift of a second chance by making a gift today. Your donation in any amount by December 31 will be matched (up to $500,000) to help more patient families.
With your gift in any size, we can help more patients overcome financial barriers to transplant—just like we did for Trista. Please give today.