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Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Lorentz
When Karen Lorentz’s three year old son Bob needed a life-saving bone marrow transplant, she became involved with Be The Match. 21 years later, Bob is cancer free and Karen and her community have found a way to give back to help support other families in need of similar life-saving treatments.
She and her neighbors have rallied behind Be The Match and its mission by becoming volunteer couriers. Karen, her husband, and their friends John and LeAnn Savereide are all now volunteer couriers for Be The Match. In 2017, Be The Match volunteers contributed over 164,000 hours dedicated to all aspects of our mission, saving nearly 6,100 lives including our 337 volunteer couriers that completed 2,268 product deliveries.
Be The Match offers many different volunteer opportunities, allowing those individuals to have a direct impact on patients with blood cancers and diseases. John’s advice is to “apply and hope you are selected. It has to be one of the most interesting and rewarding volunteer opportunities that exists.” John also says that the most rewarding aspect of volunteering with Be The Match is thinking about the patients receiving the product, and what it means for them and their families.
According to Karen’s neighbor LeAnn, who is also a volunteer courier, “The most rewarding aspect of this job is thinking about the people waiting for the product and what it means for them. Having loved ones who have received an unrelated match I know how important it is.” By confidentially delivering these life-saving stem cell treatments to patients in need, the volunteers feel a sense of responsibility, hope, and satisfaction.
When asked why she has continued her work as a volunteer with Be The Match, Karen says, “Well, quite simply, I am addicted to saving lives. I have had many volunteer jobs over the years and this one I find to be the most rewarding. Someone 21 years ago volunteered to save my little boy’s life and a courier delivered the lifesaving cells to us. It gives me great satisfaction to think I am now a courier and able to do this for a patient, and giving back something that was given to me.”
Be The Match volunteers are needed across the nation and there is something for everyone. Whether you want to help out at fundraisers, support our mission or work directly with patients and donors, you can help deliver hope for patients and families dealing with blood cancers and diseases. Click here to find a volunteer event near you.