My name is Megan Haskins, and I am writing on behalf of Christopher’s Challenge, a nonprofit organization that raises money to pay for the typing of potential bone marrow donors and supports patients and their families going through bone marrow transplants.
I am a 2009 Webster Thomas graduate, and it was my senior year of high school when I first became affiliated with Christopher’s Challenge. Part of my senior fulfillment in order to graduate was to complete a senior project, where I organized and held a two-day bone marrow drive at Webster Thomas High School.
To this day, it has been the most successful drive that Christopher’s Challenge has hosted, typing a grand total of 165 potential donors, to which we later found out two individuals went on to become donor matches.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of individuals of all ages that are diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer every year. Working in health care and having a number of individuals in my personal life that have both overcome and lost their battles to cancer has continued to put an emphasis on how important this issue is.
Therefore, I have once again decided to team up with Christopher’s Challenge for their upcoming event in January, with hopes to conduct a record-breaking bone marrow drive.
Christopher’s Challenge will hold a basketball tournament Jan. 6-8 at St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave., Rochester, along with a bone marrow drive and silent auction. The bone marrow drive will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 7 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 8.
My goal is to get as many people as possible to come in and get typed to be put on the National Bone Marrow Registry List. The typing procedure is just a brief health history and simple, painless, mouth swab. Be The Match will support the typing for people ages 18-44, and Christopher’s Challenge will cover the typing fee for people ages 45-59.
Christopher’s Challenge was started because a Webster Thomas graduate needed and received a bone marrow transplant when he was 10, and this will be his 18th anniversary of remission. Together, we hope to help others in need.