The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), together with our research arm, the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research® (CIBMTR), is dedicated to supporting research to advance the medical science of bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant (also called hematopoietic cell transplant). Our goal is to provide hope and deliver a cure to all patients in need. We also operate Be The Match®. Be The Match Foundation® raises funds to sponsor outstanding young researchers doing groundbreaking work to find solutions to the serious complications that can arise after transplant.
We target researchers who are beginning their careers because providing support early can encourage them to focus on post-transplant complications throughout their careers. These scholars are developing the treatment approaches that will extend the lives of the next generation of transplant patients.
For example, Dr. Stephanie Lee used the funding we provided to investigate a serious post-transplant complication called chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a condition where the transplanted donor cells attack the patient's body.
Lee explains she pursued this research because she saw how great the need was: “People who are otherwise cured of their diseases and doing well become chronically ill because of this complication. And so little research actually focuses on this area.”
During her funding in 1999-2001, Lee developed a grading system for the severity of chronic GVHD and looked at how different levels of severity affected patients’ health. Today, Dr. Lee is considered an expert in GVHD and she conducts research and cares for patients in the Long-Term Follow-Up Unit at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash.
A special thanks
We have been able to fund the next generation of transplant research thanks to the family of Amy Strelzer Manasevit. Amy’s family approached the NMDP about creating a research program in her honor after she died of pneumonia following a successful transplant.
Inspired by Amy’s family, the families of Alaina Enlow and Christian Jacobsen created similar programs. Combined, they have helped raise millions of dollars and supported the groundbreaking work of more than 19 scholars and 12 post-doctoral fellows at leading academic medical centers across the country.
The Amy Strelzer Manasevit Research Program for the Study of Post-Transplant Complications
Amy Strelzer Manasevit was a vibrant young Connecticut mother who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1993. Just six weeks after returning home from a successful unrelated donor bone marrow transplant, Amy passed away from pneumonia, a common post-transplant complication.
Alaina J. Enlow Scholars Fund
Alaina J. Enlow inspired people — whether it was through her photography, her sense of humor, or her perseverance through a three-and-a-half year battle with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Alaina received two blood cell transplants donated by her older sister, Callie. The first allowed Alaina to leave the hospital, but did not achieve long-term remission. The second eliminated the cancer, but caused severe chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Less than one year after transplant, Alaina succumbed to pneumonia.
Christian Jacobsen Fund for Research
Christian Jacobsen, a 42-year-old father of three and an intensive care unit nurse, was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in 2001. Without a family match, Christian turned to our Be The Match Registry® to find an unrelated donor and underwent a successful transplant in 2002. Unfortunately, he succumbed to a fatal infection in the post-transplant period.
Help fund the future
Almost all patients experience some level of post-transplant complications. Many gain a full recovery, but it is those who do not that drive us to do more, to do better.
Supporting talented and driven researchers early in their careers gives rise to groundbreaking work that helps patients live longer, healthier lives. Be The Match Foundation raises funds to encourage these researchers to target post-transplant complications so a successful transplant is followed by a successful recovery.
You have the power to heal. Please give to support research.