Big Weather recognized for bone marrow drive, shaving head

"Be the Match" honors people for their outstanding contributions to help increase the number of people in its registry.
October 18, 2013 3:10:49 PM PDT
ABC11's Big Weather Don Schwenneker was in Minneapolis Friday to accept an award from the National Bone Marrow Registry Program.

Each year, "Be the Match" honors people for their outstanding contributions to help increase the number of people in its registry. They are volunteers ready to be a life saving bone marrow donor.

You may recall that Don said he'd shave his head if more than 250 people registered to be bone marrow donors. That's why the Be the Match council recognized Big Weather at its annual conference.

They gave him the 2013 Awareness Award for sacrificing his hair for its cause.

"Boy, I look at all the other recipients receiving awards today and I think all did was shave my head," said Don.

ABC11 and Big Weather were motivated by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, and Joshua Chavis, who was the son of an ABC 11 photographer who lost his battle with leukemia this year.

"There's so many people who tell me no matter what they're struggling with, at times, even though they're surrounded by doctors, family and nurses who care, they feel like they're alone and I just wanted them to know they weren't," said Don. "If shaving my head made a difference, that's great."  

Out of 300-400 people on the registry, there might be one match. At this year's ABC 11 Bone Marrow Drive at Southpoint, more than 275 viewers signed up to "be the match".

Don vows to keep trying to make a difference.

"Next year, I volunteered to shave my body on air, but nobody wants to see all this goodness," he said.

Click here for more information on becoming a donor.

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