Brandon Crite was 13 years old when a lump emerged on his neck. Eventually, he was found to have a rare type of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It was treated with aggressive chemotherapy, then slipped into remission – only to return two years later.
Crite emerged victorious against cancer a second time when doctors treated him with a blood-marrow transplant. His donor was found through Be The Match Foundation, which manages the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world.
As his mother, Illeana Brandt, explained, “A couple of times we had found somebody and then it turned out not to go through; the third time we had a match.”
Finding a blood-marrow donor match is significantly complicated, which is why allies have formed to find donors for Be The Match. Pharmacist and owner of Sango Pharmacy, Catherine Meeks, is a local supporter.
On Sept. 16, Meeks worked with her Sango Pharmacy team and others to produce a Full Moon 5K and 1K Fun Run emceed by radio personality Joe Padula at Sango United Methodist Church. The $4,465 in proceeds went to Be the Match.
The top three male finishers were Jalen Ross, Eddie Webb and DJ Gattie and the top three female finishers were Helene Cuddeback, Erin Driver and Kristi Bohms.
Crite wasn’t at the Full Moon 5K because he was at Northwestern University, where he is a freshman.
“He wants to do cancer research,” Brandt said. “He’s looking into a dual MD/PHD program so that he can apply research to patients, as well.”