Fitz Benefit Concert Series: Be The Match
By Mariam Afshar
Recently I spoke with Sarah Hoffman, a very sweet and genuine woman and one of the planners for the Pegstar.net Presents benefit concert for Be The Match. I met Sarah at her house for a cup of tea and a chat where I also met her father Peter and stepmother Betty. We chatted causally about Be The Match, the benefit show happening this Saturday at Fitzgerald’s, and why this project is close to her heart.
Can you give us a little information on what Be The Match is what they do?
Be The Match is a bone marrow donor registry. When someone has a blood cancer or disease, such as Leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia, and needs a bone marrow transplant, they will go to Be The Match to find a donor match. It is more likely that a patient will find a match within their own ethnicity, therefore it is important to have a wide range of donors. We are always looking for more donors, especially donors from minority communities. Fifty percent of those who need a match, are unable to find one. If you are a person of color, your chances of finding a match are around 10%.
Why is this cause important to you?
My younger sister, Alice, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 12 years old. She needed a bone marrow transplant, but had trouble finding a suitable match. Because of this her transplant did not work as well as it could have and she relapsed. She passed away at the age of 18, two years ago. I want there to be more options for people in similar situations, so I set up a booth at FPHNYE, which was donated by Jagi from Pegstar.net Presents, and when he suggested this benefit concert, I was all for it.
Where did the idea for the benefit show come?
Jagi had the idea for the benefit show. It costs $100 to process each kit and register each donor, which means that Be The Match is always be in need of monetary donations. It is always free for the donor and recipient to participate in this program. We are hoping to donate 10K, the ticket sales will be matched by Pegstar.net Presents.
Are you excited to see any one particular band? Are you excited about any other highlights from the show?
I am excited to see Disco Daddies AKA Yung Slutty, because he is fun, energetic and his music makes you want to dance. Who doesn’t love a dance party? I am excited about the swabbing booth. We always need new people for the registry and it is awesome to have the opportunity to bring it to people who may otherwise not have the time to participate or the knowledge about Be the Match and their need. I am also excited for those who purchase tickets are put in a raffle for two free Bonnaroo tickets, two free FPSF tickets and two year passes to Fitzgerald’s.
Is there another way that people who are unable to attend can donate?
You can register to be a donor or make a monetary donation at Bethematch.org.
I also had a brief conversation with Jagi and asked how and why he chose the bands that will perform. The answer was simple, he wanted it to have a community feel, so they chose bands that they know and who perform at Fitz often.
Tickets are only $10, you get to see some awesome bands, help out people in need and get entered into a raffle. DEAL! Saturday 22 March doors at 8pm and you get to see Midnight Norma Lane, New York City Queens, Another Run, Rivers, BLSHS, The Beans, Featherface, Carnival Talk and DJ Fredster.