ST. LOUIS — As a deadly pandemic sweeps the country, St. Louis’ sweetheart is trying to save lives of strangers she’s never met - all from the comfort of her couch.
Laila Anderson has partnered with Be The Match, which connects patients with donor matches for bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplants.
On May 5, Laila will be part of the organization’s first-ever #Couch2Cure livestream event.
“We want every single person we can to watch this event and try to pull on some heartstrings to help Be The Match,” explained Anderson. “We can make Be The Match be even bigger and better than it already is.”
The all-day livestream event raises awareness for vulnerable patients who need donors as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. In between a morning workout, kids activities, and afternoon music, viewers will virtually meet those patients.
At 2 p.m., Anderson will interview sportscaster Joe Buck and St. Louis Blues announcer Tom Calhoun, and share her story.
“I don’t know where I would be without Be The Match,” said Anderson.
Anderson was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH nearly three years ago. Through Be The Match, she received a bone marrow transplant from a stranger, which saved her life.
“The moment I met Kenton was, just wow. We are more than best friends now we’re family,” she explained. “The love and connection you have from that experience of having a stranger who did that selfless thing to save your life, it’s really special and important.”
However, the highlight for Anderson isn’t necessarily sharing her story. She is looking forward to watching someone else write their own.
“We’re all quarantined and can’t go anywhere, so there will be a donor and recipient meeting each other for the first time,” she said. “That’s really the big aspect.”
Anyone can watch #Couch2Cure from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Viewers are encouraged to take a video or photo of themselves on their couch, and share to social media using the hashtag #Couch2Cure and #BeTheMatch.
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