By Melanie Yingst
MIAMI COUNTY — The stem cells from two umbilical cords were what Lisa Kendall-Maxon’s doctors called “her only hope.”
The stem cells were part of her aggressive fight against acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow tissue.
She was diagnosed with cancer three years ago yesterday.
“When you have AML you have lots of dates and anniversaries,” Kendall-Maxon said. “That’s why it’s so important to me to get the word out about Be The Match.”
Kendall-Maxon found a support group though Team Troy made of Be The Match donors and recipients who have had bone marrow or stem cell treatment through the non-profit organization.
Team Troy is hosting a fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7, at Skyline Chili restaurant located at 1775 W. Main St., Troy. The restaurant has agreed to donate 15 percent of the food bill to Team Troy. A flier from the Team Troy’s Facebook must be presented for a valid donation. Kendall-Maxon said she and others will be at the restaurant to hand out fliers as well as educate the public about the Be The Match organization.
The proceeds will then be donated at the Be The Match Run/Walk in Columbus on Aug. 16. Team Troy will have more than a dozen runners/walkers participating in the 5K.
“It’s fun because we are in a little fundraising war against ‘Emily’s Entourage’” from Pinkerington,” she said. “You meet so many people through this battle that we share. So we have been joking that we just want to raise more money than her.”
Team Troy also is active in the process of signing up potential donors throughout the year. It’s a simple cotton swab of the cheek, which is collected and banked at the organization.
Kendall-Maxon said she recently heard the news that a neighbor was contacted by the Be The Match organization as a potential donor.
“To me that’s just really exciting to know that we were able to sign them up, despite not being a close enough match,” Kendall-Maxon. “It’s a simple swab of the mouth. If you are found to be a match, the organization pays for the whole process to have the procedure done. When I received my stem cells from the umbilical cords and it cost around $40,000 each, be the Match paid for the whole treatment. My doctors said it was my only hope.”
Kendall-Maxon said she and other Team Troy members will be at the restaurant to help pass out fliers for the fundraisers. If you interested in participating as a Be The Match potential donor with a swab kit, visit bethematch.org. Kendall-Maxon also has swab kits available.
For more information about the Team Troy’s fundraising efforts, ‘Like’ Team Troy on Facebook.