November 09, 2009
Be The Match FoundationSM celebrates ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s completion of a new home for leukemia-survivor Joey Stott and her family. Joey, a 34-year-old wife and mother of three from Lena, Ill., received a life-saving bone marrow transplant in 2004. The Nov. 15 episode will share Joey’s inspiring story – and will also help shed light on the financial hardships transplant patients and their families face.
While a bone marrow transplant can be a life-saving treatment for many patients, the costs take a toll on families, as the Stotts know all too well. Often there is the temporary loss of at least one income, and even with insurance, not all costs are covered.
“I didn’t think about the medical bills while in the hospital and my husband didn’t either, but there was a lot to think about when I got home,” said Joey. The Stott family is still paying off $40,000 in uninsured medical bills.
To help patients who need financial support, Be The Match Foundation raises funds to provide grants that cover costs related to their transplant and recovery. In collaboration with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the foundation is kicking off a campaign to raise $1 million in patient assistance funds so more patients and their families can focus on healing. Viewers can visit BeTheMatch.org/extreme to make a tax-deductible financial contribution.
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and the volunteers in Lena donated their time, energy and resources to help rebuild the Stott family home and give them a new life together,” said Christine Fleming, president, Be The Match Foundation. “Thousands of patients like Joey are also struggling to overcome the health and financial obstacles resulting from a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. We appreciate that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is raising awareness of this important issue and hope that the public will step forward to help patients.”
Joey’s story also illustrates the need for more potential marrow donors. Like 70 percent of patients in need of a transplant, Joey had no donor match in her family. She turned to the Be The Match RegistrySM, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), and relied on the kindness of a stranger – Tom Wilhelm of Colorado Springs, Colo. – to save her life.
During the building of the Stott family’s home, Be The Match held donor registry drives to encourage local volunteers and spectators to join the registry. Now, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition viewers can also join the Be The Match Registry online at BeTheMatch.org/join.
“We thank Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for highlighting the importance of marrow donation through Joey and Tom’s story and encouraging more people to get involved,” said Dr. Jeffrey W. Chell, CEO, NMDP. “Patients like Joey are heroes to us all, as are the donors like Tom who selflessly step up to help save someone’s life.”
About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
The Emmy award winninnow in its 7th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive–produced by Anthony Dominici. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
About Be The Match Foundation
Be The Match Foundation raises funds to help patients who need an unrelated marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant find a donor and receive the treatment they need. It supports the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) which operates Be The Match Registry, the largest and most diverse registry of potential marrow donors and cord blood units in the world. Be The Match Foundation works with individuals, corporations, other foundations and community groups to raise funds that support three crucial areas: growing the Be The Match Registry to increase the chances that more patients find their match; providing financial grants to patients who need help with treatment costs; and funding transplant research to help more patients live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit BeTheMatchFoundation.org or call 1 (800) 507-5427.