Be The Match for Donna Thomas Fundraiser kicks off in November

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Dr. Richard Thomas is a teacher who is respected and cared for by all of his AP Environmental Science students. Although he may seem focused completely on the goal that his pupils learn the challenging yet captivating material he teaches, many who are not a part of his class don’t know that he and his family are suffering a crisis of their own. Thomas’s wife Donna was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer last January.
Two seniors involved in Leadership Team, Bailey Clark and Jessica Hunter, have come up with a way to help not only the Thomases but also others who share the disease.
A kickball tournament will be held at the baseball/softball field of Northwest High on Sat, Nov. 9 at 1:00 p.m. in honor of Thomas’s wife. These games will raise money for the Be The Match Foundation, an organization that pays for genetic analysis so people can provide and receive bone marrow services. It also aids individuals in finding marrow matches or donors.
“Even if you don’t want to play, you can still come out and support,” Hunter said.
To enter the tournament, the applicant should fill an empty plastic bottle with loose change and turn it into Thomas by Nov. 7. All proceeds from the bottles plus the money raised during the kickball tournament will be donated to the Be The Match Foundation.
“We’d rather pay for matches, potentially saving dozens of peoples’ lives,” Thomas said. “Since [my wife] got the disease, we’ve become a lot more aware of people with bone and blood cancer. By doing bone marrow drives, they get transplants that will save their lives. [However], we’ll never know who those people are.”
Clark, Hunter and Thomas himself are more than happy to receive donations for the Be The Match Foundation at any time.
“I was touched that they were willing to do that for my wife,” Thomas said, stating that his wife was also very heartened by the massive support from Northwest students.

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