Making It Happen at GATS

Christina and some of her loyal volunteers
Christina and some of her loyal volunteers at GATS 2014

For those of you have missed my earlier blogs on it.  Make It Happen USA a bone marrow registry group partnered with the Trucking Solutions Group at GATS.  They were there to raise awareness about the bone marrow/stem cell registry as well as to sign people up for it. This partnership was made possible with the additional support of Randall-Reilly Publishing, and ATBS.

Their efforts led to 160 people being signed up for the registry. In addition Make It Happen USA was just informed that 4 matches have been found from people that have signed up. As Christina Schnese the founder of the group often states.  “Each match we find not only saves a life but saves a family”

Tony and Misty Justice registering at GATS
Tony and Misty Justice registering at GATS

While 160 people may not sound like a large number of sign ups for an event that drew in over 40,000 people over its 3 days.  It is just the beginning. Christina spent a large amount of time networking and building relationships with a variety of groups.  Her and her team of tireless volunteers (ok by Saturday night they you could tell there were exhausted) have been invited to the MATS show.  In addition the National Minority Truckers Assoication have graciously agreed to host them at the upcoming expos being held across the country.

Christina’s story and her drive to make a difference to those who are suffering from leukemia and other blood based diseases have sparked an interest in the trucking community. Christina was continuously amazed throughout the event by the enthusiasm that the trucking community has for her project.

Personally I feel her compelling story of survival as well as one of hope resonated through out the event. You see Christina’s bone marrow transplant did not just save her from Leukemia it also appears to have cured her Lupus.  Due to the stem cell Donation that she received it appears to have cured both diseases.  Researchers are now looking at bone marrow stem cell donation as a cure for various blood cancers, as well as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and other diseases.

The registration process is simple and painless a short questionnaire, and a quick swab of your cheeks. You are then placed on the registry and if a match is found you will be contacted. Most people will give blood stem cells which is about a 5-6 hour procedure simple as giving blood.  In a few RARE cases they may still use the more traditional Bone Marrow procedure.  That is typically reserved for cases when the recipient only has a short time to live.

Tom Swabbing to Register at GATS
Tom Swabbing to Register at GATS

I along with 160 others chose to give others and their families a chance at life. I hope you will choose to do so as well.  For information on how to get a testing kit free of charge, become a volunteer, or to make a donation to help cover the costs of the kits.  Please e-mail

One important thing to remember is that their is no cost to the donor either for registering or for the procedures.  The testing of the kits currently costs 65 per kit to register a person. Make It Happen USA does depend on and gladly accept donations for those who are able and feel it appropriate.

The Trucking Solutions Group would like to thank Randal-Reilly Publishing, and ATBS for their genrous support in making this possible

I have already helped to make it happen. How WILL YOU help Make It Happen???


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