The gifts of Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm was at the top of the soccer word: a gifted player helping Team USA reach the top, her ponytail swishing through the air as she made spectacular plays. There was even a Barbie doll crafted in her image. Created in 1999, the Mia Hamm Foundation is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for bone marrow/cord blood transplants, while also increasing opportunities for young women in sports.

In 1997, Hamm’s brother, Garrett, passed away from complications related to aplastic anemia, a rare bone marrow disease. Garrett’s passing had a profound impact on her life’s mission, one that was initially realized in 1999 with MHF’s creation. In 2002, MHF sponsored the first annual “Garrett Game,” an all-star exhibition soccer match that helped raised funding to support transplant patients. In a particularly poignant moment, the MHF brought together marrow donors and recipients at halftime. Today, the “Garrett Game” has evolved into “The Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge,” a match that carries on the spirit of raising funding to benefit transplant patients and their families.

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