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Be The Match bone marrow donor registry event scheduled for Oct. 28 at St. Bonaventure


ST. BONAVENTURE — Colt Matz has endured more than any child ever should. But he’s also grateful for the people who have helped him survive his battle with leukemia and wants to pay that gratitude forward.

Colt Matz

St. Bonaventure University is hosting a Be The Match donor registry event from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry on campus.

The idea for the event was Colt’s.

“I wanted to do this to help other people like so many have helped me. I wouldn’t be here today without my donor. The registry helped me find the perfect match,” said Colt, who’s received two bone marrow transplants since being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in May 2021.

“By having this event it will help grow the registry and increase the chances of those in need to find the best possible match,” Colt said. “It will also help them to hopefully have a second chance at life and achieve their dreams.”

People ages 18 to 40 willing to become potential bone marrow donors are encouraged to attend; a simple cheek swab is all that’s required. People in this age range are sought because they provide the greatest chance for transplant success. The public is invited. 

Colt, 13, is the son of Mike and Christina Matz of Portville, and the grandson of Dr. David Matz, a retired classics professor at St. Bonaventure.

Colt received his first transplant from his brother Jack in 2021 and his second in June from an anonymous 19-year-old woman who was matched to Colt through the registry. Colt left the hospital in July and doctors have told him there is currently no evidence of any active disease.

Colt created the Colt 45 Strong Inc. foundation. Its mission is “to support pediatric cancer warriors and their families physically, emotionally and financially; to raise awareness, and to provide hope and optimism.”

Colt enjoys putting together transplant bags and has started his own podcast to help other warriors on their journey.