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In Spite of Rain and Poor Track Conditions, Masson Finished Seventh Overall
January 30 2019
This weekend, Dr. Robert Masson, 55, joined his son Kyle Masson and two other racers as part of the Performance Tech Motorsports team competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Despite multiple delays due to heavy rain, Masson and his team finished second in class and seventh overall.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Dr. Masson and the Performance Tech Motorsports team’s endurance at this weekend’s Rolex 24,” said C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Be The Match. “Dr. Masson brings dedication and passion to everything he does—from medical innovation to extreme racing.”
Last week, Be The Match announced that Dr. Robert Masson, a neurosurgeon, is the principle investigator in a new initiative focused on reimagining traditional blood stem cell donation. For the past 20 years, the process to collect blood stem cells from the pelvic bone has remained largely unchanged. The procedure often elicits fear from the general public because of how it’s portrayed through media, which discourages many from joining the Be The Match Registry® and potentially saving a life. When developing its new five-year strategic plan, Be The Match recognized an opportunity to innovate the process and make donation more attractive to people interested in becoming a life-saving donor.
Be The Match, a trusted leader in the field of cell and gene therapy and charged with finding a perfectly matched blood stem cell donor for patients with blood cancers and other blood disorders, selected Masson as its principle investigator because of his proven innovation in spine surgery and associated medical devices. Additionally, working in the field of minimally invasive neurosurgery gives Masson the tools to view blood stem cell collection in a completely new way—to consider how to work around the neural pathways of pain and focus on faster recover with minimal side effects.
“My family and friends who know me understand my participation in racing gives me structure and clarity around the importance of safe, simple, incremental, perpetual improvements in performance,” Masson said. “The opportunity to reimagine blood stem cell collection brings my professional commitment to improving neurosurgery, my passion for extreme recovery and survival, and my experience with my sister’s cancer journey to a crossroads. I am so proud to support Be The Match in its work to improve access to and the negative perceptions surrounding blood stem cell transplant.”
Masson’s younger sister, Calley, is a 20-year cancer survivor. Her journey as a cancer patient inspired Masson’s personal support of cancer patients and organizations, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with LIVESTRONG to raise awareness for cancer survival and recovery. Masson himself is a spinal reconstruction patient, a life experience that drove a desire and professional career focused on teaching people how to navigate their own health care experiences, achieve and celebrate extreme recovery, and survive in the face of adversity.
To learn more about Masson’s participation in Rolex 24, his support of Be The Match and how everyone can get involved in Be The Match’s mission to save lives, visit BeTheMatch.org/Rolex24.
About Be The Match®
For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.
Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.