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Houston couple’s generous contribution and the impact of their leadership will help patients and families with the cost of bone marrow transplants.
September 28 2022
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 28, 2022 – A bone marrow donor who saved a young girl’s life is supporting Be The Match again, this time with a $500,000 donation. The gift, from Dianna Cervantes and her wife, Devina Rankin, will help patients cover the costs associated with their bone marrow transplant journeys.
In August 2018, Dianna received a call from Be The Match telling her she was a match for a 13-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. She had joined the Be The Match Registry® in 2003 at a recruitment drive hosted by WM, her employer at the time, and when called to donate, jumped at the chance to save a life.
Dianna went on to donate marrow—and T-cells a couple of months later—to that strong little girl. In 2020, she was able to meet her patient match, Avery, and they continue to be a part of each other’s lives today, sharing life’s special moments. Had it not been for the opportunity to join the registry through the drive at WM, Dianna might never have been in the database, and Avery may have never received that second chance at life.
“Devina and I are grateful for the opportunity to tell our story with the hope of inspiring others to support Be The Match any way they can,” Dianna said. “Every action you take alongside us can help patients get to - and through - transplant, providing more outcomes like Avery’s.”
After experiencing the life-saving mission of Be The Match first-hand, Dianna and her wife, Devina, Chief Financial Officer, WM, have become fierce advocates for Be The Match, most recently being recognized as the Honorary Chairs of the 2022 Be The Match Gala on September 23 in Minneapolis, MN.
“It’s so incredible that this organization exists, and that it can deliver the gift of saving lives every single day and positively impact so many people. It will make you believe in a beautiful future.” Devina said.
This $500,000 gift will allow Be The Match to add more donors to the Be The Match Registry, remove financial barriers to transplant for patients, and fund research to improve patient outcomes. As the 2022 Honorary Chairs, Dianna and Devina shared their personal contribution to inspire the room, and the event raised a historic $1.4M, which included over $100,000 contributed from Dianna and Devina's generous personal and professional network.
“This generous contribution from Dianna and Devina will truly help save lives, and I can’t thank them enough. Without people like them in our corner, we could not do the great work our team does every day,” Be The Match CEO Amy Ronneberg, said.
If you’re interested in learning more, joining the Be The Match Registry or making a financial contribution to support patients in need, visit BeTheMatch.org.
About Be The Match Foundation®:
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. Be The Match Foundation® raises funds to advance the Be The Match mission. With the public’s philanthropic efforts, the foundation is able to add more potential life-saving blood stem cell donors to the Be The Match Registry®; provide financial assistance to patients and families to overcome financial barriers before, during and after transplant; and fund groundbreaking cellular therapy research.