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Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation continues legacy by gifting $2.1 million to-date in support of Marrow Donor Recruitment and Patient Assistance Programs

January 21 2011

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation continued its support of the National Marrow Donor Program by providing a $300,000 grant to fund marrow donor recruitment efforts and patient assistance grants. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon has a long-standing history of supporting marrow transplant patients through Be The Match Foundation and its Hendrick Marrow Program. Since 2001, the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation has contributed $2.1 million.

Every year 10,000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and 70 other life-threatening diseases need a marrow transplant but have no donor match in their family. They depend on Be The Match® to help them find an unrelated marrow donor and receive the transplant they need. For many, a marrow transplant is their best or only hope for a cure.

The 2011 Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation gift will help add potential marrow donors to Be The Match Registry®, giving more patients hope for a cure. It costs about $100 to add each new person to the registry and many more are needed to help all patients hoping for a second chance at life.

The gift will also help families struggling with the uninsured treatment costs associated with a transplant. While a marrow transplant can be a life-saving treatment, it takes a financial toll on a family. Often there is the temporary loss of at least one income. And even with insurance, not all costs are covered. On average, a patient’s recovery expenses exceed a family’s income by $1,400 a month and recovery can take 6 to 12 months.

“What Jeff Gordon has done, and continues to do for our patients, makes a remarkable difference in their lives at a time when they are most vulnerable,” said Christine Fleming, president of Be The Match Foundation. “He understands the importance of finding a marrow match and helping families make ends meet when they are fighting for their child’s life.”

The Hendrick Marrow Program works with Be The Match Foundation to support the National Marrow Donor Program. Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, established the program in 1997 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. He did not need a marrow transplant himself, but wanted to help other patients who do.