Local woman running for a cause

PLYMOUTH — Local Crystal Hutchings had only aspired to be like her parents. Having admired her mother and father running before her, she was determined to do the same as early as age 6.

“It took me awhile to be as passionate about running as I am now,” admits Hutchings.

Hutchings will be making her way to the Mohican 100, a trail run referred to as the MO100 one of the nation’s premier ultra-marathons spanning through Mohican Memorial State Forest in Ohio.

She will be dedicating the run to the Be The Match Foundation.

Be The Match is an organization recruiting and supporting potential donors. It manages the largest and most diverse donor registry with nearly 8 million marrow donors and nearly 100,000 cord blood units. It provides donors with support through the Donor Advocacy Program and supports patients with access to treatment also offering financial support and educational resources.

Hutchings heard about the foundation while living in Texas attending school and doing military service. It was not until Hutchings moved back to Indiana that she received a call from the organization asking her if she would still be interested.

“I said sure… all they told me was the potential recipient was 18 and had leukemia,” said Hutchngs.

Unfortunately Hutchings was unable to donate her marrow due to auto immunities found in her blood. Although she never met the potential recipient, Hutchings was selfless in offering her marrow, thankfully there were other matches available.

Unable to shake the desire to continue to help, Hutchings decided to combine her passion with a great cause by dedicating the endurance race to Be The Match organization.

“I ran a 50-miler back in August but I never thought I would run a 100, “ Hutchings said, “but one thing leads to another and I’m excited to see where this will lead me.”

Hutchings is excited to have the support of her family as her sister, brother, and nephew will be her potential pacers for the race.

“This is like the ultimate challenge,” said Hutchings, “As you’re running you go through breakdowns and right when you think you want to quit, you get a second wind.”

The runner has been training for 6 months, using a ladder technique increasing her mileage. With her run closely approaching, Hutchings has begun tapering. Her participation in the 50-miler proved to be a great experience not just for her training.

“It was life changing. I went through a physical breakdown, an emotional breakdown and a spiritual breakdown, “ expressed Hutchings. “It helps sort things out about life especially when its the long runs.”

Be The Match Foundation also educates doctors providing information on transplant advances, caring for transplant patients and the importance of timely referral for transplant. Through the work the foundation has done, Be The Match’s research program has advanced the donor-patient matching and improved post-transplant treatment.

The foundations relies on support to collect contributions from everyday people. Proceeds assist potential donors to the Be The Match Registry.
Community members can show support to Hutchings by donating to the Be The Match Foundation by visiting www.bethematchfoundation.org/Team_BTM_home selecting Indiana and searching participant Crystal Hutchings for her donation page.