Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The National Marrow Donor Program has kicked off a "Marrowthon" in order to try to recruit 46,000 new donors for the registry. From June 8th to the 22nd, NEW donors can register for FREE (doing so online/via postal mail typically costs approximately $52).
From their website:
Bone marrow transplant is a life-saving treatment for people with leukemia, lymphoma and many other diseases. First, patients undergo chemotherapy and sometimes radiation to destroy their diseased marrow. Then a donor's healthy blood-forming cells are given directly into the patient's bloodstream, where they can begin to function and multiply.
For a patient's body to accept these healthy cells, the patient needs a donor who is a close match. Seventy percent of patients do not have a donor in their family and depend on the Be The Match Registry to find an unrelated bone marrow donor or umbilical cord blood.
The first step to become a bone marrow donor is to join the Be The Match Registry. Doctors around the world search our registry to find a match for their patients. If a doctor selects you as a match for a patient, you may be asked to donate bone marrow or cells from circulating blood (called PBSC donation). Patients need donors between the ages of 18 and 60 who meet health guidelines and are willing to donate to any patient in need.
For more information, or to sign up for the registry, click here.
The entire process will take a few minutes of your time, and could literally save someone's life.
I hope some (many) of you will take advantage of this opportunity. Please leave a comment if you sign up, so I can thank you personally!