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Scholarships will be offered to two students through the National Black Nurses Association

February 03 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Feb. 3, 2022 – Be The Match® is partnering with the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) to offer two $5,000 scholarships to Black or African American nursing students with an interest in oncology or hematology. The scholarships were created in honor of Ebiowei Porbeni, founder of @NurseLifeRN on Instagram, who was a health care provider, social media influencer and an advocate for Be The Match. Ebi passed away from leukemia on July 20, 2021 leaving a legacy of having inspired more than 15,500 new individuals to join the Be The Match Registry®.

The memorial scholarship supports more Black and African American representation in the medical field where, Be The Match acknowledges, patients of color still experience medical discrimination. Nurse Ebi cared deeply for both the patients he provided care for as well as his peers in nursing. As host of the Nurse Speak podcast and @NurseLifeRN, he amassed a significant following of more than 1 million people. Ebi used his platform to connect with fellow nurses and medical professionals while sharing his own experiences working in the health care field.

“We recognize the selflessness of Ebi Porbeni, who gave so much support to his community of followers from the nursing community, and gave even more by setting a goal to add more than 10,000 new donors to the Be The Match Registry – a goal he surpassed in the days following his passing,” said Erica Jensen, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Be The Match. “Our mission embodies the altruism of the human spirit that leads our donors to step up to help strangers battling deadly blood diseases. Ebi’s efforts will surely save the lives of patients in need of a matching donor and his legacy will continue through the lives he helped to change.”

Ebi was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2020. He shared details of his cancer battle on social media while encouraging followers to give back by joining the Be The Match Registry, the world’s most diverse donor list that helps patients get the blood stem cell or marrow transplants they need. Ebi hoped to create a legacy by adding lifesaving donors from the nursing community who rallied together to continue encouraging people to join the registry.

“My brother always wanted to leave some mark. When he got diagnosed with his cancer he was able to use his platform to help bring over 15,000 people to sign up for [the registry]. I think this was a great way for him to have a lasting legacy,” said Ebi’s brother, Layifa Porbeni.

In honor of Black History Month and inspired by Ebi's commitment as a nurse, Be The Match has partnered with the National Black Nurses Association to continue to support the nursing community in a meaningful way and to honor his legacy with the NBNA Ebi Porbeni Memorial Scholarship. NBNA members can submit a scholarship application no later than April 15, 2022.

About Be The Match®:

Be The Match® is a global leader working every day to save lives through cellular therapy. For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other blood disorders like sickle cell, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with a matching donor for a life-saving blood stem cell transplant. The Be The Match Registry® is the most diverse registry in the world and includes both adult donors willing to donate to a stranger in need and stored cord blood units. In addition, Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant. Be The Match is also a global leader in research through the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®)—a collaboration with Medical College of Wisconsin, investing in and managing research studies that improve patient outcomes and advance the future of care.

About the National Black Nurses Association

Founded in 1971, the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) is a professional organization representing 308,000 African American registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, and nursing students in 108 chapters and 34 states. The NBNA mission is “to serve as the voice for Black nurses and diverse populations ensuring equal access to professional development, promoting educational opportunities and improving health.” NBNA chapters offer voluntary hours providing health education and screenings to community residents in collaboration with community-based partners, including faith-based organizations, civic, fraternal, hospitals, and schools