Since 2001, the Garrett Hamm Fund, established by the Mia Hamm Foundation, has provided critical support for the UNC Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Program. Regional patients, their families and related donors have received much-needed help with expenses during their lengthy stays in Chapel Hill required by the transplantation protocol.
Dr. Tom Shea, professor of medicine and director of the UNC program, explains, “The Garrett Hamm fund has been a critically important lifeline over the years that has provided funds to help cover the costs of lodging, transportation and food for our patients and their caregivers during the long and difficult transplant process. Beyond the direct costs of medical care, most, but not all of which is covered by insurance, our patients face thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses and find that resources like the Garrett Hamm Fund are immensely helpful when confronted with these kinds of financial challenges.”
With gifts totaling $140,000, the Mia Hamm Foundation has been the largest private donor to this UNC Program. Mia Hamm hosts an annual golf tournament to benefit the Foundation. Michelle Brunner, executive director of the Foundation, says, “The Mia Hamm Foundation is proud to partner with the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at UNC to support families during what can be a very difficult time. Together, over the past 12 years, we have been able to help a lot of patients and their families, and that is certainly central to our mission.”
The Garrett Hamm Fund was established at UNC Lineberger in memory of Mia Hamm’s brother, Garrett, who passed away from complications related to a bone marrow transplant in 1997.