202

Lemons for Leukemia: Meet the best friends behind the viral challenge

(NEW YORK) — The two best friends behind the viral “Lemons for Leukemia Challenge” are attempting to set a world record today for the most donors added to the national bone marrow registry within a 24-hour period.

To set a world record is one of the items on the bucket list of Chris Betancourt, 20, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia and given the prognosis of one year to live.

When Betancourt’s best friend, Dillon Hill, 19, learned of the leukemia diagnosis, he took time off from college to help his dying friend fulfill his bucket list.

The pair created the challenge, a social media campaign that aims to raise awareness for bone marrow donations, and calls on partakers to record themselves taking a bit out of a raw lemon and then post it online and challenge someone else to take part.

Because a marrow transplant is the only treatment that could potentially save Betancourt’s life, they are hoping to use the campaign to raise awareness for bone marrow donation.

The pair are also encouraging people to sign up to Be the Match, the national bone marrow donation registry, and hoping to set a world record today by registering the most marrow donors within 24 hours.

Hundreds have already taken part in the challenge, including students from across the country, and even actor Danny Devito, who remained surprisingly stoic while chewing on a raw lemon in his video clip, before challenging his “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” co-stars to take part too.

Last week, Be The Match challenged “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, who is a bone marrow recipient herself, to take on the Lemon Challenge on Twitter.

Roberts accepted the challenge, and took part in it along with the other anchors, “GMA” audience and staff live today.

Be The Match has facilitated over 85,000 transplants since 1987, and 6,100 just in 2017 alone.

To learn more about how to join Be the Match’s bone marrow registry, click here.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.