IanHartnerAs a first year rider, Ian Hartner is very excited about the upcoming 24 Hours of Booty event in Charlotte. After overcoming his own battle with cancer after being diagnosed at only six months old, he wants to give back to others in any way possible.

“The doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia kept me going until the age of two when I was old enough to have a bone marrow transplant, a total body radiation and chemotherapy,” Ian Hartner said. “I was incredibly lucky to have a sister who was a perfect bone marrow match.”

Studies have shown that 70% of patients who need a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family. It was amazing that Ian’s sister turned out to be a perfect match.

“My sister was five years old at the time, so the doctors took special time to explain to my sister, Annemarie, what was going to happen,” Ian said. “They told her they were taking some of her ‘good seeds’ and giving them to me so I could get better.”

The bone marrow transplant has been a life changing experience that has impacted Ian’s life in many ways. Although he has faced other challenges over the years, such as bowed legs corrected through surgery, diabetes and even brain and spinal tumors leaving significantly decreased function on his right side, he has continued to fight and push forward.

“Throughout all of this it has always been my hope that those who came after me would be able to benefit from advances in research and the new development of new drugs and treatments,” Ian said.

With the brave help from his sister he has been able to live a productive life. Bone marrow donors help change the lives of people world wide each day.

“My sister and I share a bond that few people share,” Ian said. “She saved my life and I can’t ever repay her for that.”

This year Ian has a personal mileage goal of 50 miles. As a first time rider, he is very enthusiastic about the many things that will help benefit a great cause.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to organizations who are working to find cures for many of the diseases that affect so many of us,” Ian said. “This year I am riding for family and friends lost and especially for those starting treatment and looking for options.”

Interested in being a bone marrow donor? Be The Match, a non-profit organization that manages the largest bone marrow registry in the world will be onsite at all of our events this year. Riders will have the opportunity to register free of charge to become a cure for patients in need. A patient’s likelihood of finding a donor with Be the Match ranges from 76 percent to 97 percent depending on race and ethnicity. Let’s fight cancer together!

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