Nearly 70% of patients who need stem cell transplants do not have a relative who is a perfect match. That’s a big deal, because these patients must rely on donors to sign up for the Be The Match registry, which helps find non-related stem cell and bone marrow donors.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) types are inherited, or passed down within a racial group. That means if a patient needs to find an exact HLA match, the best bet is to look within the same ethnic group. The Be The Match registry needs more minority volunteer donors!
As the graphic above shows, if you are Caucasian, you have a 93% chance of finding a match. However, if you are African-American, you only have a 66% chance. This is because only 7% of the more than 10 million volunteer donors are African-American.
Registering with Be The Match is pain-free. You just fill out some paperwork, and a nurse will swab the inside of your cheek. If you are selected as a match, you can read more about the donation process here.
Malena Needs Your Help
Fifteen-year-old Malena Brown was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in May of 2013. Today, even a simple cold could put her health in jeopardy, because her immune system is not as strong as it should be. Her only hope for survival is a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor, like you.
Children’s Medical Center hosts an annual drive to increase registry members. This year, our event takes place on Feb. 14, 2014, and throughout the entire month of February via online registration.