November 10, 2008
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) presented its 2008 awards to more than 10 individuals and organizations whose dedication and support have helped raise awareness about marrow and cord blood donation and assisted the NMDP's patient education and recruitment efforts. The awards were presented during the NMDP's 21st Annual Council Meeting on Nov. 7, 2008, at the Hilton Minneapolis.
This year's winners include:
- Health Care Partner Award - StemCyte, Inc., for helping to increase awareness of clinical applications and effectiveness of cord blood transplantation among transplant physicians and related health care professionals.
- Collegiate Award - Coach Andy Talley and Villanova University for recruiting thousands of new members to the NMDP Registry over the past 17 years. Talley has continuously worked to raise awareness and build partnerships to support the NMDP's mission.
- Allison Atlas Award - Gina Cousineau, of San Clemente, Calif., Chair of Be A Hero, Become A Donor Foundation, for her tireless efforts to raise awareness about the need for marrow, cord blood, organ and blood donations. Through her work, Cousineau has been instrumental in recruiting more than 3,000 members to the NMDP Registry and raising close to $40,000 to help cover tissue typing fees to add new members to the Registry.
- Lt. Gen. Frank Petersen Jr. Award - North Carolina Central University for sponsoring joint marrow donor and blood drives on Historically Black College and University campuses and recruiting more than 5,000 minority members to the NMDP Registry.
- Volunteer Innovation Award - Betsy Lucas, of Minneapolis, for volunteering time to raise awareness about the importance of marrow donation and assisting the NMDP's patient education and recruitment efforts.
- Patient Support Award - The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for providing ongoing support and involvement in the NMDP's efforts to provide outstanding patient education.
- Lifeline Award - Mollie Forsch and Ellen Port, of St. Louis, for founding The First Gift committee to support the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank. Through the help of The First Gift, more than 75,000 families have donated their newborn babies' cord blood to the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank.
- Excellence in Local Media Award - KXLN Univision 45 for generating awareness about the need for umbilical cord blood donations which has significantly increased cord blood donations among expecting Hispanic parents in the Houston area.
- Admiral Zumwalt Corporate Award - Amgen, which has supported the work of the NMDP for nearly a decade by donating funds and conducting approximately 50 donor recruitment drives through both employee and congressional drives.
- Excellence in National Media Award - Rachael Leisy, of Leawood, Kan., and Susan Sulich, of New Fairfield, Conn., whose inspirational profile in Woman's Day helped raise awareness and understanding of marrow donation and reached an audience of nearly four million women.
- New Media Award - Project Michelle for its innovative online campaign that uses the power of social media to reach out and raise awareness about the need for marrow donors. Through a Web site, blogs, YouTube videos and marrow donor drives, Project Michelle has recruited more than 15,000 new members to the NMDP Registry.
"Volunteers help drive the success of the National Marrow Donor Program's efforts to save lives," said Dr. Jeffrey W. Chell, chief executive officer, NMDP. "Thanks to the tireless efforts of individual volunteers, universities, corporations, patient families and law enforcement organizations we will be able to help more patients receive the life-saving transplant they need."
Learn more about NMDP. Or for more information call 1 (800) MARROW-2 or join online at www.marrow.org/join.