The first-time event was a definite success declared Wendy Schulman, Walk for Life Chair. In addition to surpassing its goal of 300 walkers, the event raised almost $70,000 to benefit the Gift of Life, far exceeding the projected goal of $50,000. The money generated enables Gift of Life to send over 1,000 test kits to the lab which will then place the potential donors on the registry.
Before the walk began, the participants were treated to a very special moment in the lives of two women. Jessica Offir, a courageous 27 year old bone marrow donor from Sunrise, Florida, was introduced to Randi Igoe, a 50 year old married mother of two from Long Island. Randi is Jessica’s grateful transplant recipient. As the two women embraced and held on to each other tightly, the emotionally charged moment was not lost on audience members. Arm in arm, Jessica and Randi led the crowd in the 3 mile walk. They spent their time walking and talking and getting to know each other. A thankful Randi said, “I feel like I have another daughter. And, Jessica said, “It was completely overwhelming. I still have chills and tears in my eyes.” The two are making plans to visit later in January in New York so that Jessica can meet Randi’s extended family.
Chaired by Wendy Schulman of Delray Beach, the Walkathon publicized the need for an ethnically diverse pool of potential bone marrow donors, helped recruit new donors to the registry and gained financial support for the organization. “It’
Since its inception, Gift of Life has registered more than 177,000 potential bone marrow donors, conducted searches for over 39,000 patients, and facilitated almost 2,200 transplants. With more people in the donor registry, there is a greater probability of finding a match for a child or adult in need of a bone marrow transplant. To learn more about Gift of Life, please visit our website at www.giftoflife.org. or call 1-800-MARROW.
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ABOUT GIFT OF LIFE
Gift of Life is an associate donor registry of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and a participating member of the worldwide registry Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide. In addition to its dual accreditations from the NMDP for its Marrow Donor Registry and Cord Blood Bank, Gift of Life's Cord Blood Program at UMass is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). Gift of Life is accredited by the World Marrow Donor Association, and holds state tissue banking licenses required for its activities.