Mia Hamm has remembered her late brother as a guy who was able to "connect" with others.
The 51-year-old former soccer player was at the height of her career and named her Sportswoman of the Year in 1997 when her adopted brother Garrett died at the age of 28 following complications during a bone marrow transplant intended to cure his rare form of anaemia.
She told People: "You should have seen my brother! He was the perfect height for everything, 6’ 3”, so he was the quarterback of the football team, the point guard on the basketball team. The playmaker and the goalscorer on the soccer team, just fast and quick, you know? And he was really cool to be around. I think he was one of those guys that could connect with everyone. He didn't say a lot, but when he did, it usually was either funny or impactful."
Two years after his death, Mia started up the Mia Hamm Foundation to “celebrate the lives of bone marrow recipients and raise awareness about the need for more bone marrow donor volunteers" and went on to explain why there is still a need to spread awareness of the disease.
She added: "Graft-Versus-Host Disease is different in that it's basically the donor cells attacking the recipient’s organs and tissues. With other transplants, it's usually the body rejecting the transplant, but this is the opposite. It's actually the transplanted cells attacking the host.
"It’s grown tremendously. I didn't do it alone, though. I had a lot of people in my corner. My teammates have been incredibly supportive, and we want to encourage all those going through their own BMT journey and dealing with Graft-Versus-Host Disease that we are in your corner too. We are your fans and we’re cheering you on."