A major part of Robert Guerrero's PR campaign for Saturday night's fight with Floyd Mayweather has been talking about his wife's battle with leukemia. Casey Guerrero was diagnosed in 2007 and suffered several relapses. Guerrero vacated his title to spend time with her before a compatible bone marrow match was found and a transplant was successful, leaving her cancer-free.
Robert has appeared on several major TV shows with Casey, talking about their faith and her recovery.
Floyd took to the media to say that he feels like Robert is using his wife's illness as a sympathy story to "gain fans":
"I think trying to gain fans by having a sympathy story every week....I don't think that's a good thing, but I'm glad that his wife was able to beat the leukemia. I don't feel nobody should go through a situation like that, but we all go through certain things. Our mothers, our fathers, our loved ones go through certain things. I just feel like...just to gain fans you are using your wife's story, you are using a sympathy story," Mayweather said.
"I don't think that's a great thing that happened to her. I'm glad that she was able to beat the leukemia, which is a great thing. I think that's a good thing and I'm glad that they have a great bond, but I don't like that every week they keep selling the same story and selling the same story. It's time to talk about something different.
Related to all of this, Guerrero is working with Be The Match to push for donor awareness. Here's the press release sent out yesterday:
Robert Guerrero is going for two knockouts when he steps into the ring Saturday night.
He aims to beat Floyd Mayweather. He also intends to "Knock Out Blood Cancer" by urging young people to join the national registry of potential marrow donors.
Guerrero is dedicating MayDay to fighting blood cancer with Be The Match®, the organization that helped find a life-saving marrow donor for his wife, Casey. He’ll also sport a Be The Match patch on his trunks during the fight to help raise awareness for the organization.
A marrow transplant helped Casey overcome leukemia. Now Guerrero is doing all he can to help make sure a matching donor can be found for every blood cancer patient who needs one.
"My wife was fortunate to find a marrow donor. But there are thousands of other blood cancer patients out there who still need a match. So I’m spreading the word: Go to BeTheMatch.org and join the Be The Match Registry. You could be someone’s cure."
The Be The Match Registry is the world's largest and most diverse listing of potential bone marrow donors and donated umbilical cord blood units. Thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a matched donor.
"We're thrilled to have Robert Guerrero in our corner as we take on leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers," said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of Be The Match. "He and his family know from experience that when people join the Be The Match Registry, they can literally save someone's life."
In 2007, Casey Guerrero was diagnosed with leukemia. Guerrero put his career on hold, vacating a world title to help care for his wife. Casey relapsed three times before she found a matching bone marrow donor. She underwent a successful marrow transplant in 2010 and doctors have since declared her cancer free.
Be The Match is appealing to younger people because transplant patients who receive marrow from younger donors tend to have better outcomes. Also, since patients in need of a marrow transplant are more likely to find a match from someone of the same racial or ethnic background, increasing the racial diversity of the registry will help save even more lives.
Those interested in joining the registry can join online at BeTheMatch.org. It costs about $100 to add a new member to the Be The Match Registry and Guerrero is encouraging people to get involved in any way they can. In addition to joining the registry, people can spread the word or make a financial contribution to Be The Match to grow the registry, support research and deliver tangible relief to families struggling with uninsured transplant costs.
Facts About Blood Cancer & Marrow Donations
• Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
• Every year, more than 12,000 patients are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases-such as leukemia and lymphoma-for which a marrow or cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor may be their best or only hope of a cure.
• Seventy percent of all patients who need a transplant do not have a matched donor in their family. They depend on Be The Match to find an unrelated donor or cord blood unit.