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Running through Waco will change lives on Sunday, as the Be The Match marrow donor program hosts its 10th annual Miracle Match Marathon. All the proceeds of the marathon go to Be The Match Registry to help those needing lifesaving bone marrow transplants.
Be The Match is a part of the National Marrow Donor Program, an organization that recruits and supports donors and patients, educates doctors and conducts research programs. Locally, Be the Match works with the Scott & White Marrow Donor Program.
Participants can register to run on raceit.com. Registration fees for adults are $110 for the marathon, $95 for the half marathon, $55 for the relay, $40 for the 10K and $20 for the one mile. Registration fees for kids are $10.
“Two of our miles are actually dedicated to two Baylor students that actually have matched and donated for Be the Match,” Nancy Goodnight, the race’s director said.
Races for the Miracle Match Marathon run across Baylor campus and some go through Cameron Park. Medals are awarded for race finishers.
People can also join the Be The Match Registry on Race Day and sign up for free to become a marrow donor. Goodnight said those wishing to donate marrow do not have to register for a race.
Goodnight said signing up to be a donor consists of filling out papers and providing a cheek swab. It does not commit anyone into bone marrow donation. It is only a test to see if a person is eligible to be a match. The commitment to donate can be pursued after the results return. People can register to be a donor all day Saturday.
“The most common age that matches and actually donates is between 18 and 22,” Goodnight said. “That’s why it’s so important to get college-aged kids registered.”
Goodnight said that there are misconceptions about donating marrow, as some say that it is a painful process. She argued that marrow donations are pain-free and non-invasive.
Goodnight said 8,000 people are currently waiting for a donor.
Races will end at the Waco Suspension Bridge. The Suspension Bridge finish line is a symbol of how the Miracle Match Marathon “Bridges the Gap” between donors and recipients.
People interested can go to http://miraclematchmarathon.net/ for registration and more information.