(Minneapolis, MN) — Aug. 28, 2023 — On Friday, August 11, the Be The Match Foundation® celebrated its annual Los Angeles Soiree at the Skirball Cultural Center, an event dedicated to raising critical funds to support patients with life-threatening blood cancers and blood disorders. A record-breaking $327,000 was raised in one inspiring night. These funds go directly to providing patient assistance grants, pioneering research in the transplant field, and expanding the diversity of the Be The Match Registry®. In 2022, Be The Match Foundation provided $6.1 million in grants to 2,320 patients and their families in need of financial assistance.
The event’s presenting sponsors included Kilter Films, a production company led by writer/director/producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, whose nephew is searching for a donor, as well as the Frischling Family. The Frischling Family, along with their personal and professional network, made an incredible and generous impact throughout the evening, in tribute to family matriarch, Cindy Frischling, who underwent a life-saving blood stem cell transplant in 2020.
Over two decades ago, Cindy was diagnosed with a blood cancer. After managing her condition for over 15 years, her care team decided to move forward with a blood stem cell transplant. Through Be The Match, Cindy found her donor and received her blood stem cell transplant in 2020. Now, the family hopes their passionate support of Be The Match will lead to encouraging others to join and support the organization, ensuring more stories like Cindy’s can be told.
“All of us at Be The Match are honored to witness the incredible impact being made here, providing opportunities for patients and their families through your support and advocacy of our mission,” said Joy King, Chief Advancement Officer of Be The Match and Executive Director of the Be The Match Foundation. “The funds we’ve raised here will enable us to support and bring hope to the patients and families we work with every day.”
The highlight of the evening was the heartfelt meeting between transplant recipient Manny Jay of California, and his blood stem cell donor, Wilberto Cancel who made the trip from his home in Puerto Rico. Manny, a well-known celebrity stylist in L.A., had been in remission for 10 years when his leukemia returned in 2019. Through the Be The Match Registry® Manny found a 10 out of 10 blood stem cell donor match in Wilberto and in 2020 received his transplant.
“I feel like I’ve known him my whole life, like this is my brother,” Manny said, upon meeting Wilberto. “This is what family looks like.”
For more information about how the Be The Match Foundation is supporting patients in need and how you can get involved or make a financial contribution, visit: BeTheMatch.org/LASoiree.
About Be The Match Foundation®:
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. Be The Match Foundation® raises funds to advance the Be The Match mission. With the public’s philanthropic efforts, the foundation is able to add more potential life-saving blood stem cell donors to the Be The Match Registry®; provide financial assistance to patients and families to overcome financial barriers before, during and after transplant; and fund groundbreaking cellular therapy research.