Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Need for Donors

Finding a match: The basics

For a successful transplant, a patient needs a matching donor. Special testing determines whether a patient and a bone marrow donor or umbilical cord blood are a good match. The closer the match, the less likely the patient will experience severe Graft - vs - Host Disease (GVHD).

Race and ethnicity matter
Because the markers used in matching are inherited, patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. Adding more donors and cord blood units from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the Be The Match Registry increases the likelihood that all patients will find the match they need.

Your heritage can make all the difference. If you are from one of the following communities, you are especially encouraged to join the Be The Match Registry or donate umbilical cord blood:
  • Black and African American
  • American Indian and Alaska Native
  • Asian, including South Asian
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic and Latino
  • Multiple race

You can even join from the comfort of your own home, by completing an online form and using the kit they send you to swab a Qtip around the inside of your cheeks.  It only takes a minute or two to join the registry!  The major requirements are:
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 60
  • You must live in the US or Puerto Rico
  • You must promise to donate to a patient in need if you are called to save someone's life
Get more questions answered online here if you still want to know more.

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