When someone is in need, we often ask, “What can I do?” For Bill Tonkinson, that question has overtime morphed into, “What more can I do?”
An 18-year marrow transplant survivor, Bill has dedicated his second chance at life to volunteering tirelessly to raise awareness of and funds for Be The Match®. Bill’s volunteer efforts include serving on Philadelphia’s Be The Match Walk+Run planning committee, leading “Team Tonk” – the city’s largest Walk+Run team – and logging nearly 330 hours as a volunteer courier transporting life-saving marrow to patients all over the country.
On top of all that he does for Be The Match, Bill is also a fulltime employee at Philadelphia Energy Solutions. While at work, Bill uses his break time to promote the Walk+Run from the employee lounge, and from these efforts, has added several of his colleagues to his team. He even chooses to spend almost all of his earned work vacation time on courier trips for Be The Match.
Bill inspires others to get involved in the Be The Match mission whenever possible. Last year, Bill was honored with the volunteerism award at the Be The Match Council Meeting, an annual meeting celebrating accomplishments, and is host to educational lectures and workshops for those involved in marrow transplant and donation.
“My goal is to keep growing the Walk+Run events to get more donors on the Be The Match Registry® and more donations for research, so that more people can survive just like me,” Bill says. “Here I am, 18 years later, and I want to pay forward what Be The Match gave me.”
Learn how you can join Bill and so many others by becoming a Be The Match volunteer.