New Haven organization honors special ‘Heroes’

By on January 20, 2010

“Getting paid to do good”– that’s the motto of Become MyHero (BMH), a New Haven organization dedicated to finding cord blood donors for people who can’tfind a bone marrow match in a public registry.

BMH is the world’s largest network designed to recruit cord blood donor recruiter network. Umbilical cord blood is rich in the same stem cells as bone marrow, and is often easier to match and obtain.

Lauren Levy, a senior at Quinnipiac, is a Facebook administratorfor BMH.

“It is the first organizationof its kind, working directly for the individuals who desperately need to find a donor,” Levy said. “There is no middle man – people find us because we are their last hope. Their lives depend on our hard work and the network we’ve built and want to continue to build; no one should die of an illness because no donor can be located in time to save them.”

Levy’s inspiration to get involved came from the story of the founder and his family. Dr. Ted Collins created the organization in memory of his daughter Natasha, who died fromcomplications followinga partially matched bone marrow transplant.

“She was so young, had so much life ahead of her and was very close in age to myself. It’s just tragic,” Levy said.

BMH uses recruiters to publicize simply through word of mouth,and also social networking sites suc has Facebook and Twitter. Not only does a recruiter get to be directly involved in saving someone’s life, but a successful match entitles the recruiter to $1,000 in payment.

BMH works with prominent medical specialists to determine what type of match a person needs and where an individual matching that description will most likely be found. This unique organization provides anyone with the opportunity to save a life and even make some money in the process.

“Chances are, you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who’s a match,” Levy said. “The degree of separation might even be closer than that. We’re trying to grow a massive network and have ears and eyes everywhere.”

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