(KCEN) -- The chances of finding a bone marrow match are about the same as finding a needle in a hay stack.
But thanks to the big hearts of some Waco firefighters finding the right person to donate, is a little bit easier.
One year ago, Dillion Gasper was at this table swabbing his mouth to see if he could save someone's life. Six months later, he did.
"I was thrilled at the opportunity because there are ten million people on the registry and I never thought I would get selected," Gasper says.
Dillion was one of 2,500 runners from 31 different states to take on what's been called the hardest race in Texas.
The marathon was started by firefighters in 2004, and they don't race in runners clothes.
Firefighter Jamie Taylor says, "There was some guys running in bunker gear, so we said we have to run in bunker gear!"
"They are the ones behind the scenes. They do all the work. Mark the course. They take care of traffic control. They work all night long all weekend," says race director Nancy Goodnight.
Now the chance that someone will become a bone marrow match is about 1 in 1,200.
The Waco Suspension Bridge is a symbol of more people becoming a bone marrow match.
According to the Manager of Scott and White Bone Marrow Program Debbie Mabry, "The marathon puts everyone on the registry who wants to be put on the registry at no charge."
After 9 years, the fundraiser is a the reflection of the charitable community.
"There are 31 water stations all along the course. You've got different organizations, different churches. And they compete to see who can be the most creative."
If you are wondering if donating bone marrow is painful, you can ask Dillon because six days after he donated, he ran a triathlon.
Spreading health, in any way possible.
One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the marathon go to the Be the Match Registry, a program designed to help people who need lifesaving transplants.