“I couldn’t see any other option but to dive right into the process, especially because I would hope that someone else would do this for my son.” —Luke Beckett, ’15, ’18 M.A.
THE ADVOCATE Junior Kori Hines knows what it’s like to be on the other side of a call like the ones Schroeder and Beckett received. In January 2011, during her eighth-grade year in Olathe, Kansas, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer rarely diagnosed in young people. She was considered in remission after spending most of the year in and out the hospital for chemotherapy and radiation. “Then in August, right before I was supposed to start my freshman year in high school, we found out I had relapsed,” she said. Her doctors considered another treatment — a cord blood stem cell transplant, similar to bone marrow in that it gives the body the tools to fight the disease, and in that success lies in the ability to find a match. “Neither of my parents were matches, or my sister,” Hines said. “The odds of finding a match on the registry are low, and being a person of color, the options are even smaller.” There were, it turns out, two matches from the registry, and following her transplant Hines said she returned to a mostly typical life. But she never forgot what a stranger’s act did for her. She’s tried to pay that anonymous gift forward ever since by founding her own nonprofit organization, Kori Cares Foundation, that assembles and delivers care packages for parents with children undergoing cancer treatment; and by volunteering with organizations like Gift of Life, which advocates for organ donation registries.
Kori Hines, junior, speaks at the Festival of Student Achievement.
Want to Help? Both DKMS and Be the Match offer swab kits that can be mailed in to join the registry. Visit www.dkms.org/en/register or join.bethematch.org for more info or to request a kit.
“I made a promise to myself that when I got better, I was going to live as best I could,” she said.
The magazine for Rockhurst University.