A video below explaining how it began
When 11-year-old Michael David Wrobel lost his battle to non-Hodgkin lymphoma 19 years ago,
the odds of finding an exact match were astronomically high and, despite all the efforts of his
family and friends, an exact bone marrow match was not located in time to save young Michael.
These efforts became the basis for the creation of Michael’s Fund to help other children and
adults find bone marrow matches in time to save their lives.
Michael’s Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization functioning solely through the efforts of family,
friends and dedicated volunteers. All monies raised are applied directly toward the funding of
marrow donor recruitment drives and improved donor typing. Since 1996, Michael’s Fund has sponsored
over 1,700 drives throughout all 6 New England states, New York and Missouri.
Michael’s Fund, created by Michael’s parents, Tom and Cindy Wrobel, along with family and
friends, serves as a beacon of hope for many children and adults stricken with cancer and other
serious blood diseases. Increasing the number of drives, increases the number of individuals
tested, which translates into more marrow matches and potential cures for victims of cancer and
other serious blood diseases.
“Michael’s Fund’s main focus is to help children and adults defeat cancer by raising public
awareness and funding to increase the number of potential, life-saving marrow donors,” said
Michael’s Fund Committee Member, Marylou Kocon Cordeiro.
To date, Michael’s Fund has raised more than $856,500, sponsored more than 1,700 marrow
drives, improved marrow typing of 6,191 donors and recruited over 51,500 donors.
In addition to tax-deductible donations from private citizens other funding sources include;
an Annual Michael’s Fund Golf Tournament, contributions from businesses, community
organizations, raffles, auctions, walk-a-thons, marathons, brunches and dinner dances.
Although more than 525 patients receive marrow transplants each month, the number of patients
who could benefit from this life-saving therapy is much greater. Michael’s Fund, along with
the Be The Match Registry (which facilitates unrelated marrow transplants for patients with life-
threatening diseases), is working to close this gap.
Michael’s Fund was presented with the National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) prestigious
Allison Atlas Award in 2002. At the 2007 Council Awards Program, of the NMDP, Michael’s Fund
was honored, once again with a second award, the Volunteer Innovation Award for its proven
longevity as a volunteer group demonstrating commitment and support of the NMDP’s mission.
Michael’s Fund has also played a vital role in contributing to the passing of state legislation in RI (1998),
MA (2000), NH (2006), CT (2011) and ME (2014) to ensure that health insurers provide coverage for marrow
donor testing. Currently, only a handful of states have this legislation in place. Michael’s Fund is presently
championing the cause for new legislation in VT to help this state achieve this goal.