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Speak one-on-one with our Patient Support Center Staff who can assist you before, during and after a blood or marrow transplant (BMT). We are here to help you get reliable, easy-to-understand information from diagnosis through recovery. Call or email us for confidential, one-on-one support from caring experts. We'll listen and help you find answers. All of our programs and resources are free.

Our BMT Patient Navigators can help you:

  • Learn about transplant
  • Understand the donor search process
  • Find a transplant center
  • Get answers to your financial or insurance questions
  • Connect with other transplant patients and caregivers through our Peer Connect program
  • Find clinical trials
  • Prepare for and cope with life after transplant

Meet our BMT Patient Navigators

To talk with any of the navigators, call: 1(888) 999-6743 or email

Debbie Jacobson, OPN-CG, Manager, Patient Support Center 
Debbie Jacobsen 
Debbie has been with NMDP/Be The Match for over 15 years. She began her career with NMDP/Be The Match as a Senior Case Manager for the Office of Patient Advocacy in 2003. In her current position, her primary role is to oversee the work of the Patient Support Center team, which includes providing expertise and guidance to the team members for problem resolution, navigation and customer service. Ms. Jacobson also provides one-on-one navigation to patients, caregivers, family members and others seeking information regarding HCT. The services provided by the team include telephone counseling and one-on-one support from diagnosis through survivorship, education regarding the transplant process, identifying resources for financial assistance, housing, transportation and more.

Leah Christianson, OPN-CG, BMT Patient Navigator

Leah has been with Be The Match since 2013. She started providing services to potential donors, providing education and assessing medical suitability. Then, Leah joined the Patient Support Center in 2015. She is a member of the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) and a certified oncology patient navigator.

Bilan Jama, MSW, BMT Patient Navigator

Bilan joined Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2017. Previously she worked as a medical social worker at Santa Clara Valley Medical and provided counseling, resource referral, and advocacy to patients. Bilan has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota.

Maria MacWilliams, OPN-CG, Senior BMT Patient Navigator, Bilingual

Maria is licensed in Communication Sciences through the Mexican Iberoamericana University. She started at Be The Match in 2000 in Donor Services. Maria came to the Patient Support Center in 2004 as a patient navigator. She has presented at conferences in Mexico and Brazil, and has collaborated on several international projects. Maria thinks of herself as an “obstacle coach,” helping patients and families identify and “jump over” barriers. She is a certified oncology patient navigator. 

Brenna O'Brien, MPH, RN, ONN-CG, BMT Patient Navigator

Brenna is a registered nurse and joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in 2017. She worked previously as an inpatient RN on the adult BMT unit at the University of Minnesota. She has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is also certified as an oncology nurse navigator. 

Lisa Pomarico, MSW, LGSW, CHTC, OPN-CG, BMT Patient Navigator

Lisa began working for Be The Match in 2014 as a case manager. In this role she helped transplant centers search for donors and coordinated care with donor centers and cord blood banks. She joined the Be The Match Patient Support Center in the spring of 2017. Lisa has a Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago. She is a member of the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) and is certified as both a hematopoietic transplant coordinator and oncology patient navigator.