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Be The Match Joins ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Unrelated bone marrow recipient and leukemia survivor’s Lena, Ill., home to be rebuilt on popular ABC show

September 10 2009

Be The Match®, a movement that engages the public to help patients in need of bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplants, joins ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition through the story of Joey Stott, a bone marrow transplant recipient and Lena, Ill., resident.

In 2004, Stott was diagnosed with leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Like 70% of patients, Stott did not have a donor in her family and relied on the kindness of a stranger who had joined the Be The Match RegistrySM to donate bone marrow and save her life. Now, a community of volunteers and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will help Stott save her home – with the help of a special guest: Tom Wilhelm, Stott’s bone marrow donor from Colorado Springs.

Donor registry drives encourage involvement

As part of its involvement in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Be The Match will hold donor registry drives to encourage local volunteers and spectators to join the Be The Match Registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP). The drives will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Lena Lion’s Fall Festival and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13, at the build site. There is no cost to join. Potential donors must be between 18 and 60 and in good health. Interested individuals can also join the Be The Match Registry online at

“We want to thank Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and the Lena community for supporting Joey and her family, and for bringing national attention our mission,” said Dr. Jeffrey W. Chell, CEO, NMDP. “The number of patients receiving bone marrow transplants is growing every year. Now, more than ever before, we need people to get involved to ensure that all patients can receive the life-saving treatment they need.”

Support for patients

In addition to joining the Be The Match Registry, the public can support patients by making financial contributions to Be The Match FoundationSM. While a marrow transplant can be a life-saving treatment for many patients, the costs can take a toll on families. Often there is the temporary loss of at least one income, and even with insurance, not all costs are covered.          

Be The Match Foundation raises funds to provide grants to patients who need support. Starting this week, Be The Match Foundation is aiming to raise $1 million so more patients and their families can focus on healing.

“In challenging times, it is heartening to see people coming together to help each other, whether through a medical emergency or a housing crisis,” said Christine Fleming, president, Be The Match Foundation. “We are sincerely grateful for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s efforts to raise awareness about Be The Match Foundation – and our efforts to relieve families of the financial burdens they experience when a loved one goes through transplant. Giving viewers and volunteers a place to direct their compassion and commitment will help save lives.”

About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

The Emmy award-winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its 7th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It's executive–produced by Anthony Dominici. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on ABC. 

About Be The Match

Be The Match is a movement that engages a growing community of people inspired to help patients who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), a leader in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation, created Be The Match to provide opportunities for the public to become involved in saving the lives of people with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases.

Volunteers can join the Be The Match Registry – the world’s largest and most diverse listing of potential adult marrow donors and donated cord blood units – as well as contribute financially to Be The Match Foundation or give their time.

Be The Match Foundation supports the NMDP by raising funds to grow the Be The Match Registry, help patients with transplant costs and advance medical research.

Since operations began in 1987, the NMDP has provided more than 35,000 transplants to help give patients a second chance at life. For more information, call 1 (800) MARROW-2.

  • Give now to help raise $1 million so more marrow transplant patients can focus on healing.