Jonathan Haupt, pictured above, is a 32-year-old DC native, and he is battling acute myeloid leukemia, a rare and aggressive blood cancer. Chemotherapy has not worked for Jonathan, and his only hope for a cure now is to find a bone marrow match for a transplant. Jonathan’s wife Courtney and the rest of Team Haupt are asking for your help in joining the National Bone Marrow Registry, because there’s no good match in his family or on the registry yet. It’s so easy to join— fill out a form, swab the inside of your cheek, and you’re on the registry.
By signing up for the National Bone Marrow Registry, you’re not only potentially helping Jonathan, you’re helping everyone. Too often, the friends and family members of a patient needing a bone marrow transplant aren’t a match, and that patient has to rely on the kindness of strangers who have added themselves to the registry. Imagine if your husband or wife, child, or friend needed a bone marrow transplant and you weren’t a match? Knowing that only 3 in 10 patients will receive the transplant that could save their lives, you’d probably encourage everyone you could reach to join the registry to find a match. The National Registry needs people from all backgrounds (in Jonathan’s case, European Jewish heritage) to make sure they have a wide selection of matches out there, so if you’re African American, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or multiple races, please strongly consider joining because they need you the most.
Please help Jonathan by signing up for the National Bone Marrow Registry. Team Haupt has several marrow drives coming up: this Saturday, July 11th from 10-6 at the Reston Festival, this Sunday, July 12th from 10-4 at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, or next Sunday, July 19th from 3-9 at Ryan’s Daughter Restaurant in Baltimore. You can also sign up online free of charge, thanks to the support of DKMS, by joining Team Haupt’s Virtual Drive— just fill out the form online and a cheek swab kit will be mailed to you. I can vouch for how simple and painless the process is– I signed up several weeks ago and it took no more than 10 minutes of my time.
How else can you help? You can help spread the word by joining their Facebook group or by following them on Twitter @Cure4Leukemia. You can donate to Team Haupt, or to DKMS to cover the costs of registering new donors. To fight blood cancers while getting in shape, you can sign up for Team in Training, a fantastic endurance training program that trains you to complete a marathon, triathlon, or century bike ride while raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We Love DC author Donna has done Team in Training twice, for a half-marathon and a marathon. She benefited from the coaching and training, but what made the experience special was the opportunity to raise money for a worthwhile cause that would really make a difference. She says, “Finding out that blood cancers had in some way affected so many people I knew, while raising money for the cause, made it much more meaningful than simply running a race.”
Please consider attending an event to join the registry, or signing up online to see if you’re a match for Jonathan. We all benefit when the National Bone Marrow Registry registers an additional donor, because that donor could be the match that someone has been waiting for. Let’s hope Jonathan finds his match soon.