Is there anything more terrifying for a parent than a sick child?
What would you do? Who would you turn to for help? These are questions no parent wants to have to consider, but sadly for some, do not have a choice.
When Ciceron teamed up with Be The Match this year, there was always a sense of gravity to the work we would be doing. It wasn’t just about getting great results, the stakes were imminently higher than that. Our campaigns could make a difference in somebody’s very life. That fact became all too clear when we met Kami.
Kamryn is an 11-year-old girl from Oklahoma City. An only child and a straight A student, this vivacious girl is also fighting a life-threatening disease: Sickle Cell Anemia. She needed a lifesaving bone marrow transplant, the only known cure for this condition.
Sickle Cell Anemia affects between 70,000 and 100,000 people in the United States alone. It is most common among African Americans and Hispanics but also found in other ethnic and racial groups. A patient is most likely to match an individual of the same ethnic ancestry or ethnic background. For African American patients like Kamryn, the chance of finding a suitable match or available donor on the registry is 66-76%, which is why it is so important to bring more diversity to the registry.
Kamryn had five potential matches, but unfortunately, none were willing or able to donate marrow. Ciceron got the call from Be The Match and immediately jumped into action to help her chances of finding a donor and marrow match. This was a huge group venture, everyone on the team chipping in extra time and effort to make this happen, with all of our work culminating in a tight five-day turnaround. We focused on our targeting efforts most intently on reaching the audience that would benefit Kami the most. In one four day span, Be The Match saw a big jump in registrations, 57% of them from African Americans.
While Kami could not find a match on the marrow registry, her parents, along with her doctors, made the decision for her to receive a haploidentical transplant from her father. While recent outcomes of haploidentical transplants are promising, it is still ideal for a fully matched adult donor. It is so important to be reaching these select audiences, and Kamryn’s family continues to encourage others to join the registry so that other families don’t need to make these tough decisions regarding alternative treatment options.
We are incredibly honored and proud to be partnering with Be The Match in this fight against blood disorders and cancers and will continue to do everything we can to help in any way possible. We are also pleased to announce this campaign for Kami was named one of three Finalists for an OMMA Award in September.