Austin’s Story

Posted May 29th, 2015 by Be The Match and filed in News
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Your matched gift will help children and families get the support and assistance they need! 


Single mother knows that, in the face of cancer, “The bills don’t stop.”

Born prematurely, six-year-old Austin has spent most of his life in and out of the hospital. When his struggles worsened, blood work revealed a devastating diagnoses—monosomy 7, a rare form a pre-leukemia.

Nikki, Austin’s mother, was devastated and she immediately wanted to know about treatment options. Living in a rural community, they drove four hours from home, to Duke University Medical Center, and learned that Austin’s only hope was a marrow transplant.

Nikki had insurance, but it didn’t cover the search for a marrow donor—essential to saving Austin’s life. As a single mom, the financial burden seemed insurmountable, but there was hope. She was informed about Be The Match Patient Assistance and, thanks to generous financial contributors like you, Be The Match was able to cover the cost of Austin’s search for a marrow donor. Thankfully, an umbilical cord blood match was quickly found.

Gift of Life

Today, Austin’s life is forever changed. Previously a very sick little boy, he didn’t have the strength to learn and play. Now he is retaining weight, his language skills exploded and he is healthy enough go to school. “Austin’s marrow transplant has changed our life and given us hope for his future,” says Nikki.

Nikki is forever grateful to the mother who donated her baby’s umbilical cord blood. “She gave my child life. Someone who would do this for a stranger is an angel.”

The Bills Don’t Stop

Nikki is equally grateful for the financial assistance. “I am a single mom and I was unable work during the time we were in the hospital. The bills don’t stop just because your child is sick. I worried about everything—how will I pay the mortgage, will we have a home when we leave hospital, will we be able to afford food? The patient assistance funds helped with these burdens and allowed me focus on what was most important – Austin’s health.”

How you can help

No qualifying patient has ever been turned away, but requests for help continue to escalate. Over the past five years, the number of families who need help has more than doubled. On average, families who apply for patient assistance funds struggle with expenses that exceed their income by more than $1,600 a month.

During the month of June, John and Caryn Camiolo want to help patients like Austin—and mothers like Nikki—pay for some of the uninsured transplant costs. They have given $100,000 for Be The Match to use as a challenge match, and are challenging our supporters to raise an additional $100,000 for Patient Assistance. Your gift will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, and if it’s received by June 30, will have twice the impact in bringing assistance—and hope—to patients and families.

Please send your gift—of any amount—to Be The Match today and double your impact!

To those who pay it forward to help families like hers Nikki says, “There are no words to thank you enough. Gifts to Be The Match mean life or death for families like mine. We are forever grateful and forever blessed by your financial support.”

Give now and double your gift>

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