Be The Match and William G. Pomeroy Foundation® Announce Expansion of HBCU Internships to Diversify the National Registry of Blood Stem Cell Donors

Minneapolis, Minnesota, UNITED STATES

MINNEAPOLIS, May 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Be The Match, which operates the world’s most diverse registry of blood stem cell and marrow donors, today announced the William G. Pomeroy Foundation has granted the organization $300,000 to continue to diversify the Be The Match Registry by expanding its presence at historically Black college and universities (HBCUs) to help save the lives of more Black and African American patients battling blood cancers and blood diseases like sickle cell disease. This adds to their existing generous $500,000 gift from the fall of 2022, bringing their total investment this school year to $800,000 – which is accelerating this incredibly impactful HBCU program.

“Adding younger, more diverse donors to the Be The Match Registry is absolutely essential to helping us save more lives,” said Joy King, Chief Advancement Officer, Be The Match and Executive Director, Be The Match Foundation. “We are grateful that Bill found purpose in his experience as a cancer survivor and has become a powerful advocate for others experiencing a similar battle. His support will help give countless others a chance at a cure.”

Be The Match currently has partnerships with 23 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), where paid internships are offered to students who are passionate ambassadors for health equity and work as peer educators, hosting registry drives, leading presentations and awareness campaigns to increase the number of Black and African American donors on the national registry. With grant funding from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Be The Match was able to add eight new interns to its program – including at Bethune Cookman University, Norfolk State University, Albany State University, Hampton University, Morgan State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University and Jackson State University. In the first few months of their internships, these student leaders added more than 850 new donors to the Be The Match Registry.

“It is deeply inspiring to watch students grow into leaders who are helping to solve healthcare inequities impacting their community,” said Deryn Pomeroy, Trustee and Director of Strategic Initiatives at the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. “We are honored to be an integral part of such an impactful movement.”

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Over the past 35 years, Be The Match has helped facilitate more than 120,000 blood stem cell donations, giving patients a second chance at life through blood stem cell, marrow or cord blood transplants. Bill Pomeroy received a life-saving transplant from a fully matched donor on the Be The Match Registry® in 2005 and used his transplant experience as a catalyst for the creation of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. Bill has previously served on the NMDP/ Be The Match Board of Directors and is currently an Emeritus member of the Be The Match Foundation Board of Directors.

Not all patients have an equal chance at finding a matching donor. Ethnic background plays a role in finding a matching donor and Black and African American patients have just a 29% likelihood of finding a fully matched donor compared to a 79% chance for white patients. The William G. Pomeroy Foundation has offered critical support for programs that diversify the Be The Match Registry and give hope to patients regardless of their racial or ethnic background.

About Be The Match®:
Be The Match® is a global leader working every day to save lives through cellular therapy. For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other blood disorders like sickle cell, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with a matching donor for a life-saving blood stem cell transplant. The Be The Match Registry® is the most diverse registry in the world and includes both adult donors willing to donate to a stranger in need and stored cord blood units. In addition, Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant. Be The Match is also a global leader in research through the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®)—a collaboration with Medical College of Wisconsin, investing in and managing research studies that improve patient outcomes and advance the future of care.

About the Pomeroy Foundation
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation® is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history, and working to improve the probability of finding appropriate donor matches or other life-saving treatments for blood cancer patients. Established by Trustee Bill Pomeroy in 2005 to bring together his two greatest passions, the Pomeroy Foundation is a private, philanthropic organization located in Syracuse, N.Y. As the nation’s leading funder of historical roadside markers, the Pomeroy Foundation has awarded more than 2,000 grants for markers and bronze plaques in 48 states and Washington, D.C. To learn more about the Pomeroy Foundation, visit

Media Contacts: 
Erica Sevilla Kathy Coffta Sims
Be The Match Director of Communications William G. Pomeroy Foundation