A Journey with Be The Match: From Design Sprint to Event

medical May 19, 2022

A Journey with Be The Match: From Design Sprint to EventBy Alivia Davidson, Marissa Johnson, Maegan Wells, and Morgan Ames

The Journey Begins

In January of 2022, a new semester began, and we were signed up to take CAPS Med for three periods of our school day.  At the time, we had no idea what professional experiences, trials, and opportunities we would walk through. We were more worried about what clothes to wear, as we were told to dress business casual for class.  We knew that CAPS stood for the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, and we were eager, and a bit nervous, about what was ahead. 

Sprint Design 

On the second or third day of CAPS, we participated in the design sprint.  In short, this is a three-day opportunity that all CAPS associates participate in, where we are given a problem and have only a few days to come up with a solution.  On the final day, each group stands on stage and pitches its unique solution to a panel of judges, including the client.  

This semester, Be The Match served as the client, therefore presenting all CAPS associates with a problem: there are not enough people signed up on the pre-registry for the marrow transplant list. How do we grow this list?  Twenty-three groups of CAPS associates immediately got to work, and with various approaches, presented their solutions to the client three days later.

Discovery Meeting

After the design sprint, we were provided the opportunity to continue working with Be The Match as our semester-long project. This was when our true journey began with Be The Match. We jumped right in and started working on ideas for our discovery meeting. A discovery meeting is where we have our first official meeting with our client and decide how we can best be of service to them. Before our meeting, we came up with a few ideas on how we could help them and also did research on who Be The Match is, the National Marrow Donor Program that works to help cure blood diseases. 

In early February, we met with our clients Rebecca, Tracie, and Matt for our first meeting. We discussed what they wanted from us to increase awareness of the pre-registry and what possible things we could do for them. In the end, we decided as a group that we would host an event to promote mainly the pre-registry for those under the age of 18, but also the registry for those 18-40 years old. We also agreed to create two videos, one that could be used to promote our event and other upcoming events and another one that will stand as an informational video on Be The Match and their pre-registry.

Project Planning

After the discovery meeting, we felt confident about how we could best serve our client and we quickly got to work researching what we would need in order to put together a successful event. Although this was a first for all of us, we made sure to put 100% effort into planning, promoting, and overall spreading the mission of Be The Match.  

We came up with a plan to have an information table, a swabbing area, our videos playing for everyone to see, and one of our clients present in order to help us when needed.  After coming up with the idea to host an event we decided we wanted to do something more for the Be The Match. It is safe to say that people our age would rather watch a video than read an article nowadays. Therefore we decided to create a video for them. 

We were stuck between creating a video to promote our event or a video full of information for Be The Match to utilize for their social media. After much debate and careful consideration, we decided to go with both ideas. It is always best to go above and beyond for your client. By doing both videos we can reach target audiences of those who want to attend the event or for those who purely want more information. (Watch)

Innovation Celebration

At the end of April, CAPS hosted an event to showcase all the work that had been done by CAPS associates between the two semesters of this school year. 

For our project team, this was a trial for the real event we were planning in May. We were able to talk to many different people in the community about our project and try to help promote Be The Match and the event that we planned. We were surprised by how much support we received at the innovation celebration and all of the people who wanted to participate after hearing more about what we were doing. This celebration not only let us show off our work from this semester but also meet many people that can help us expand our project.  


Throughout the project process, we met with Rebecca, Tracie, and Matt either weekly or biweekly in order to share our progress, ask questions and request help with items that we couldn’t obtain on our own. 

After we found out that we could host our event at Allen College, the only real difficulty we faced was finding individuals to attend. With the help of all the Cedar Valley CAPS programs participating and our clients helping spread the word, we held a successful promotional event for Be The Match on Friday, May 13th.  

We had eleven people swab to join the registry and many more who signed up to join the pre-registry.


In conclusion, this project gave us a great opportunity to learn more about Be The Match and how we can help them in their mission. Teenage exposure to an organization like Be the Match can open teenagers’ eyes to ways to help other people.  As a team, we didn't know what Be The Match was before taking CAPS, and now we are leaving as advocates for the organization. 

We hope that in reading this, you feel encouraged, not only to learn more about Be the Match but also to consider collaborating with the Cedar Valley CAPS programs.  

To learn more about the National Marrow Donor Program and Be the Match go to www.bethematch.org

If you are interested in learning more about CAPS and how you could partner with CAPS associates on a project go to www.cfcaps.org or contact Nate Clayberg at [email protected].