Spreading the message for stem cell donations digitally

April 22, 2020

After posting a video about Lizzie Tennyson, who passed away at 21 after her fifth battle with leukemia, GenCure’s Brenda Garza received a message.

A former stem cell donor named Allison had seen her message on finding marrow donor matches even in the era of COVID-19. She wanted to help out as a virtual volunteer. Allison knows the importance of a donation, since her father received a lifesaving kidney transplant.

As it turns out, Allison had a tattoo of the Be The Match logo that she had gotten after donating. 

“I challenged Allison to tag me in a post with a picture of it, and she did,” said Brenda, who is a Community Engagement Representative in Austin. “I thought it was very cute and showed her level of commitment to the cause.”

She had promised Allison a Be The Match T-shirt for putting up the post, but she went a step further.

“I wanted to surprise her with some extra items, so she has enough material for her posts on social media,” Brenda said. “On Tuesday, I mailed her a Be The Match T-shirt, fans, sunglasses, pens, lip balms, plastic water bottle, stickers, thank-you note and my business card.”

Allison wasn’t the only person who saw Brenda’s video tribute to the UT student who never found a donor match. The video was seen by more than 860 people and shared by 38 on her Facebook feed, and viewed 969 times on her LinkedIn profile.

“There also were lots of loving and caring messages, which are priceless,” she said.

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More from our blog:

STBTC makes first delivery of cold-stored platelets

First patient receives ‘convalescent plasma’

First donor contributes to STBTC convalescent plasma donor program