MINNEAPOLIS--January 17, 2017--Every year, thousands of patients are diagnosed with blood cancers and other life-threatening diseases--and for many patients, treatments through clinical trials provide hope and potential cures. But for patients and their families, the process of finding and enrolling in clinical trials can be a challenging, frustrating process.
That is why the Carter family of Wayzata, Minn., has provided a generous $1.25 million donation to Be The Match Foundation®, the fundraising organization that supports Be The Match®, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on saving lives through bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation. Be The Match will use the provided funds to create and promote The Jason Carter Clinical Trials Program, which will help blood cancer patients identify and enroll in clinical trials more efficiently.
Studies show that patients on clinical trials have better outcomes than those who do not participate, but several enrollment barriers exist that prevent patients from participating.
The Carter family knows these barriers intimately and is dedicated to helping other patients navigate the opportunities to join clinical trials. Their son and brother, Jason Carter, battled leukemia for 4 ¼ years until he passed away at the age of 28 in May 2016. Jason's journey was challenging, but his participation in two clinical trials extended his life, gave him more time with his family and provided his best chance for a cure.
The family's extensive search for clinical trials exposed critical needs in the process. This new program, created in his name, will provide the following resources to support patients and their families:
- Centralized resource website where patients will learn about clinical trials, including a suite of multimedia tools and a searchable system with summary snapshots to find relevant trials.
- Clinical trials education specialist to provide one-on-one support for patients and families who have questions as they navigate the site.
- Physician awareness and education will be included because many patients depend solely on their doctor to advise them about potential treatment options, including clinical trials.
- Outreach and promotion for the three initiatives described above so people will find the resources and to extend our reach to impact more patients, families and physicians.
"We hoped Jason would live long enough to find a cure. He had an indomitable will to live and to beat his disease. He tried every new treatment and new therapy possible. It was still not enough. Only 5 percent of cancer patients take part in clinical trials. That number must greatly increase for outcomes to improve more quickly," said Jason's parents, Robert and Diana Carter. "Jason wanted to make a difference. The Jason Carter Clinical Trials Program will bring a greater transparency to opportunities that exist for patients and better inform their families of requirements for participation. We are thrilled to partner with Be The Match to improve this process and help other patients find the best treatment resources available. Together, we can help save lives."
"This donation from the Carter family will have a profound impact on patients and families for years to come," said Joy King, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director for Be The Match Foundation. "We could not be more honored and excited to carry out Jason's legacy through this new program. We sincerely thank the Carter family for their generosity and compassion for all patients."
About Be The Match Foundation®
Be The Match Foundation® raises funds to help provide marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants to patients with life-threatening blood cancers--like leukemia and lymphoma--or other diseases. With the public's help, the foundation gives patients a reason to hope and the power to heal. Foundation funds deliver tangible relief to patient families struggling with uninsured transplant costs, help add more potential marrow donors to Be The Match Registry® and support new research discoveries.
Be The Match® is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved.
To support the cure, visit BeTheMatchFoundation.org or call 1 (800) 507-5427.