Mile Honorees

2020 Mile Marker Honorees

Miracle Match is about real stories and real people. We want you to know that when you are out on the course. Each Mile is dedicated to someone who has been touched by marrow and stem cell donation. Here are their stories:

Mile 1: Matt Shane - 2020 Honorary Race Chair

Mile 1: Matt Shane - 2020 Honorary Race Chair

Looking For A Match

I was born with a rare chronic kidney disease gene called Alports Syndrome. This gene did not effect my life growing up and I participated in many activities including cross country, cross country skiing and track.

In the fall of 2014, I was training for my first full distance Ironman when I was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure. This put a halt to my training and a refocus on my goals. In the spring of 2015, I competed and finished my first full Ironman in The Woodlands Texas. Over the next few years I would run a handful of half marathons and volunteer in countless other events including the Miracle Match Marathon and Waco 70.3 Ironman.

From the time I finished my Ironman, I participated in a clinical drug trial that was investigating the possibility of reversing my disease. I was planning on rolling over into a continuation of this trial, but I was involved in a serious mountain bike accident in October of 2019. Breaking 10 bones (sternum, scapula and 7 ribs), bruised hip and a small punctured lung.

This accident caused significant internal trauma that stressed my kidneys to where they shut down completely. This left me in the hospital for an entire week trying to regain kidney function. With a recent follow up appointment with my nephrologist, it was communicated to me that my kidneys were still in stage 5, complete renal failure and that I would need a kidney transplant.

Just like after my first attempt at an Ironman, my priorities had to be reset. Now, I’m searching for a kidney. I have several family members and close friends who have offered a kidney hoping for a match. Now it’s a waiting game.

If you want to help my cause in search of a kidney, please go to www.livingdonorfortworth.org

Mile 2: Trent Hughes

Mile 2: Trent Hughes

Stem Cell Transplant Recipient

Trent Hughes received a matched unrelated stem cell transplant this past October. Trent was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in July after having flu like symptoms for a week. He was immediately transferred to MD Anderson and started on chemotherapy. 

After he went through two cycles of chemotherapy, he was in remission and then went to transplant. It has been recurrent battles of fevers and pneumonia, but as of his last bone marrow aspiration a few weeks ago, he still remains disease free! 

Trent is married to Meagan Hughes and both are alumni of Reicher Catholic High School in Waco.   They currently reside in Alvin, TX, with their daughters Adeline and Charlotte.

Mile 3: John Wesley Karnes III

Mile 3: John Wesley Karnes III

Cornea Donor

John Karnes was a loving family man and friend who had recently celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, Saundra. He liked to spend time with his family, travel, hang out with friends, hunt, fish, hike, canoe, workout at the gym, and support his beloved University of Texas Longhorns. He was a Vietnam Veteran who loved his country and supported our troops. He volunteered at the Bush ranch grooming trails in preparation for the Wounded Warriors 100 Mt. Bike rides where he assisted in making the rides go smoothly.

John’s passion was riding his bike and he often rode 5000 miles a year after he retired in 2013. As one of the first members of the Waco Bicycle Club, he taught safe riding skills to new riders and repaired bicycles for the Hallsburg Elementary School.

On June 8, 2019, a medical incident at the Fire Ant Bike Tour in Gatesville left John on life support until he passed away peacefully on June 12, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. Unable to donate his organs, John fulfilled his wishes by becoming a cornea and body donor. 

John’s wife, Saundra, is the co-chair of the Miracle Match KIDS event.

Mile 4: Megan Dominguez

Mile 4: Megan Dominguez

Transplant Recipient

Megan Blair Dominguez was 23 years old when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, which is uncommon for someone so young. A wife and mother, Megan underwent a stem cell transplant and finally achieved remission. 

She passed away the following year due to complications from treatment. Her family continues to remember Megan at Miracle Match by providing one of the rest stations in her honor and will be at the rest station at Mile 4.

Mile 5: Wade Durbin and Edith Huseman

Mile 5: Wade Durbin and Edith Huseman

Transplant Advocates

Wade Durbin is a local Firefighter who has been involved with the Miracle Match Marathon since the very beginning. He is involved because his sister, Edith Huseman, has been fighting leukemia for many years and may need a marrow or stem cell transplant. 

Thank you, Wade, for all you do to help keep our runners safe!

Mile 6: Kevin Fisk

Mile 6: Kevin Fisk

Stem Cell Donor

Kevin is a past Waco Firefighter and stem cell donor. After donating his stem cells several years ago, he wanted to become more involved. Kevin joined the Lone Star Circle of Life Bike team many years ago to help spread the word throughout the state about the need for donors and served as team captain for two of those years.  He has also worked tirelessly for many years for Miracle Match.

Mile 7: Joe Griffin

Mile 7: Joe Griffin

Stem Cell Transplant Recipient

“In 2014, my first year of riding in the Waco Wild West 100, I signed up to be included in the Be The Match registry. Little did I know then, that one day would be a recipient– not a donor. In 2017, it was a complete surprise when I was diagnosed with bone marrow failure. My prognosis was not good, and the only potential cure was to have transplant of healthy stem cells from an anonymous donor. After further testing, and an extensive search of the BeTheMatch registry of over 20 million individuals, a 28-year-old Canadian was found who was a perfect match. My wife, Karen, and I have nicknamed my donor “Dudley Do-right,” after the Royal Canadian Mountie who always appears just in time, shouting his familiar line to someone in distress—“Don’t worry….I’ll save you!”

The day before my transplant “Dudley” was connected to a machine somewhere in Canada to extract his stem cells which were flown to Dallas to me. I have received a nice note from “Dudley.” He said that he’d thought about me many times since his donation, he wishes me well, and hopes that someday we can personally meet. I’d like that, too. It’s a rare opportunity that few people have, to thank someone personally for literally saving their life. I’m looking forward to that day—thanks to the Be The Match organization who provided the means for an unselfish giver somewhere in Canada and a grateful recipient in Texas–to be forever linked.”

Mile 8: Jeanie Sides Johnson

Mile 8: Jeanie Sides Johnson

Marrow Transplant Recipient

Jeanie Johnson is a survivor. After a diagnosis of leukemia in 2002, Jeanie’s family began searching for the matched marrow donor she would need to survive. Her donor was her sister, Claire Sides Northcut. Jeanie and her family were always aware that not everyone finds a matched donor.  After many years in remission, Jeanie unfortunately relapsed, but was able to have a second transplant in 2017 with her brother, Jim Sides, as her donor.

Jeanie’s family have continually supported the Miracle Match Marathon since the very first year, hosting the “Sunny Sides” rest stop many years. She is the assistant superintendent for Administrative Services at the Midway ISD and started the district’s running and training program which encourages involvement in local races.

We honor Jeanie for her willingness to help other patients find a matched donor.

Mile 9: Jennifer Sexton

Mile 9: Jennifer Sexton

Stem Cell donor

Jennifer joined the Be The Match Registry at a drive on the Baylor campus sponsored by the Be The Match On Campus.  She was a member of the group at the time and is now the president. 

A very short time after joining, she was contacted to see if she would be a donor for this woman with leukemia.  Jennifer donated her peripheral Blood Stem Cells to this patient giving her a second chance of life.

Thank you, Jennifer, for your wonderful gift of life and for helping put even more donors on the registry!

Mile 10: Missy Hardeman

Mile 10: Missy Hardeman

Organ Donor

​Feisty, tough as nails, but would give you the shirt off her back in a heartbeat. Missy was never afraid to get in there and get her hands dirty, never afraid to try something new. She was always pushing us to reach our limits and did not allow us to back down. She was a cheerleader, an encourager, and full of some serious tough love. 

She lost her life on a routine training ride on a familiar route, but Missy lives on through her organ donation. The person who got her lungs got the best there ever was. She was one seriously strong woman with a beautiful soul.

Mile 11: Melinda Colyer & Tammy Meredith

Mile 11: Melinda Colyer & Tammy Meredith

Marrow Transplant Donor and Recipient

“My journey began in May 2015 when I began experiencing significant weight loss, fatigue, and worsening anemia. It would take almost two years and many doctor visits, blood tests, and bone marrow biopsies to get the answers I needed. In March 2017, I was diagnosed with myelofibrosis and would need a bone marrow transplant. My world as I knew it was turned upside down, and I began a “new normal”. 

Soon after my diagnosis, a donor drive was held and over 100 people responded! I was amazed and grateful to witness the selflessness and willingness of so many people! At that time, I wasn’t sure if my sister (one and only sibling), Tammy Meredith, would be eligible to donate. And I also knew that the odds (25%) for her to be a match were not in our favor. However, several weeks later she was able to be tested and was a 100% match! Tears of joy were shed the day we got the news!  She’s my hero!

My transplant was on July 23, 2018. I was able to celebrate my first “Rebirth Day” on July 23, 2019 with a trip to Hawaii! In September, I had the opportunity to attend the Annual Bone Marrow Transplant Reunion in Dallas. I was able to visit with other transplant recipients/survivors, donors, and caregivers. This amazing group of people come together once a year to share their stories and celebrate another year of victory against cancer. I am now a year and a half post-transplant and doing well. Each day is a gift.”

Mile 12: Marty Harvill

Mile 12: Marty Harvill

Stem Cell Donor

Dr. Marty Harvill is a professor at Baylor University in the Science department. He donated stem cells several years ago and continues to support the program by supporting the students at Baylor who work tirelessly to increase the number of donors on the registry through the Be The Match On Campus Baylor University.

Mile 13: Tim Anderson

Mile 13: Tim Anderson

Stem Cell Donor

Tim Anderson is not only a Waco Fire Fighter and the producer of the Miracle Match Marathon finisher medals and award medals but he is also a peripheral blood stem cell donor. He donated several years ago through the Be The Match Registry. Tim hand cuts each of our finisher medals and award medals each year.

To nominate a mile marker honoree, please send an email to the race administrator at miraclematch2017@yahoo.com. Mile marker honorees must be someone having had a marrow or stem cell transplant, a donor of marrow or stem cells, someone searching for a match or a person or group who have been advocates of stem cell donation.

2020 5K Course Mile Marker Honorees

Mile 1: Matt Shane - 2020 Honorary Race Chair

Mile 1: Matt Shane - 2020 Honorary Race Chair

Looking For A Match

I was born with a rare chronic kidney disease gene called Alports Syndrome. This gene did not effect my life growing up and I participated in many activities including cross country, cross country skiing and track.

In the fall of 2014, I was training for my first full distance Ironman when I was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure. This put a halt to my training and a refocus on my goals. In the spring of 2015, I competed and finished my first full Ironman in The Woodlands Texas. Over the next few years I would run a handful of half marathons and volunteer in countless other events including the Miracle Match Marathon and Waco 70.3 Ironman.

From the time I finished my Ironman, I participated in a clinical drug trial that was investigating the possibility of reversing my disease. I was planning on rolling over into a continuation of this trial, but I was involved in a serious mountain bike accident in October of 2019. Breaking 10 bones (sternum, scapula and 7 ribs), bruised hip and a small punctured lung.

This accident caused significant internal trauma that stressed my kidneys to where they shut down completely. This left me in the hospital for an entire week trying to regain kidney function. With a recent follow up appointment with my nephrologist, it was communicated to me that my kidneys were still in stage 5, complete renal failure and that I would need a kidney transplant.

Just like after my first attempt at an Ironman, my priorities had to be reset. Now, I’m searching for a kidney. I have several family members and close friends who have offered a kidney hoping for a match. Now it’s a waiting game.

If you want to help my cause in search of a kidney, please go to www.livingdonorfortworth.org

Mile 2: Cindy Connell

Mile 2: Cindy Connell

Transplant Recipient

Cindy Connell was a recipient of a stem cell transplant in 2011. While Cindy was searching for a match, her family and friends held numerous drives to grow the registry. They continue to support the program by educating others about the importance of being a stem cell donor and the ease of joining the registry. 

Cindy passed away in 2012 and her family continues to honor her by their support of increasing the registry and the Miracle Match Marathon.

Mile 3: Tim Anderson

Mile 3: Tim Anderson

Stem Cell Donor

Tim Anderson is not only a Waco Fire Fighter and the producer of the Miracle Match Marathon finisher medals and award medals but he is also a peripheral blood stem cell donor. He donated several years ago through the Be The Match Registry. Tim hand cuts each of our finisher medals and award medals each year.

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