You can help save a life by being tested to see if you are a match to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells.
|Over the past 25 years, Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. You can join it.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 3,
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: Main lobby, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm & Carlton Streets
Donors must be between 18 to 44 years old and should not have any history of cancer, diabetes or heart problems.
HEAR MORE ABOUT THE PROCESS
Dr. Meghan Higman MD, Pediatric Oncologist, Roswell Park
On The WBEN Liveline
A simple swab of the inside of the donor's cheek provides the necessary tissue typing information, which is put into the National Marrow Donor Program database to record individuals who have agreed to join the registry and potentially donate marrow or stem cells. Potential donors can then be matched with patients of the same tissue type.
A well-matched donor is important to the success of a transplant. Doctors look for a marrow donor or cord blood unit with a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type that closely matches the patient's. HLA are proteins, or markers, that the immune system uses to recognize the cells that belong in the body and those that do not.
Because tissue type is inherited, you might expect that a family member would be the best match. However, only 30 percent of patients will have a relative who matches and is able to donate. The other 70 percent, or approximately 14,000 people, need someone like you to donate their healthy marrow.
Even with more than 22.5 million potential marrow donors and 601,000 cord blood units available worldwide, it is harder for patients of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds to find a match. Because tissue type is most likely to match someone of the same race and ethnicity, donors of these racial and ethnic heritages are especially needed:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Black or African-American
- Hispanic or Latino
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
- Multiple race
A close match between a patient's and donor's tissue type can improve the chances of a successful transplant. When a patient searches for a donor, sometimes he or she finds a closely matched donor, sometimes not. A patient could be waiting for someone like you.