Lauren joined the Be The Match registry in 2016 as a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island. The URI football team had partnered with Be the Match and the Andy Talley Foundation, and there was a registration site on campus that day. on the way back to her dorm room. Lauren and the group of friends she was with all stopped to join the registry. After a five minute process that included a simple cheek swab and some sign-up paperwork, they were all registered.
Lauren barely gave it a second thought for the next four years, but in the summer of 2020, she received a call that would change her life and someone else’s. To her surprise, she was told that she was a potential match for a patient in need. Lauren’s mother had been on the registry for 30 years and never ended up being a match, and so she never expected she would be called upon.
Once a second round of check-swabbing confirmed that I was indeed a match, it finally struck me that I was going to help save a life. I felt honored and amazed to have such an opportunity – it still hasn’t fully sunk in.
About seven weeks later, Lauren donated her stem cells at the Rhode Island Blood Center headquarters in Providence to save the life of a woman in her late sixties with a deadly form of lymphoma. Her experience donating was overwhelmingly positive, and she was proud of the impact her simple act of donating would have. A few months later, Lauren got another call asking if she was able to make a second donation to the same recipient. Without hesitation, she returned to the Rhode Island Blood Center and happily made a second donation.
With everything that has been going on this year, registering for Be the Match is such an easy and amazing thing to do safely from home. I think about the patient I donated to and what might have happened if I had never joined the registry. I’m so glad that I did so that she has more time to spend with her family.
Today, Lauren continues to raise awareness about the existence and importance of Be The Match, how easy it is to join, and how much of an impact that a donor can have—literally the difference between life and death for another person. Join the Be the Match registry today by clicking here.