The Livermore Spirit Award is given to an organization supporter who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to its life-saving mission of delivering cures to patient facing blood cancers and other diseases, said Stacey Chase, senior manager, community fundraising, Be The Match Foundation.
She remembers talking first with Tom Kendall about Lisa and her challenges and then with both father and daughter.
“They wanted to give back and make an impact on other patients and their families. We worked together to launch the Buckeye Donut Dash for Be The Match,” Chase said.
Additionally, both have become legislative advocates for Be The Match representing the organization and its mission in front of congressional representatives.
Kendall-Maxson also became a volunteer courier flying around the country as needed, picking up stem cells and delivering them directly to patients.
“We chose Lisa and Tom because they have persisted through obstacles and hold their Buckeye Donut Dash each year, putting in hours and hours of work and always with great energy and spirit,” Chase said.
The Be The Match registry is dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant they need. Fundraising activities also will include a bone marrow registry where people can be swabbed to be a bone marrow donor.
Kendall-Maxson was diagnosed in 2011 and underwent a stem cell transplant in Columbus a few months later.
She learned more about Be The Match after her transplant. “I didn’t really know what they were talking about. At that point, I was too sick to worry about that,” she said.
Once she was doing better, nurses told her more.
The family became involved in Be The Match fundraising in Columbus first. The Troy events have raised more than $60,000.
There was no event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but they hope it will return this summer.
Kendall-Maxson said she and her dad enjoy being organization ambassadors.
She also has completed 18 trips as a courier for transplants. “I had no idea how my cells got to me. Here it was an actual person who did the transport, not Fed-Ex,” she said.
She hopes to someday do international trips for the program. “Somebody risked their life to deliver cells to me,” Kendall-Maxson said.
“My dad and I have always been close … we both live to help others,” she said.
Her dad and mom, Beverly, have instilled the need to give back to others in her and her children, she said. Kendall-Maxson and husband, Tom, have three children.
“We are dedicated to it. It has been a big part of our life since Lisa had her diagnosis,” Tom Kendall said of Be The Match. “This was our way of paying it back. It is such a great thing to work together as a family.”
For more information, visit bethematch.org.
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