Every year, more than 10,000 people from all ethnic backgrounds are diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases for which a marrow or stem cell transplant could be a cure. Seventy percent of these patients do not have a compatible donor in their family and need to search for an unrelated donor.
Bonfils Blood Center’s Colorado Marrow Donor Program (CMDP) has two primary initiatives – to facilitate stem cell and marrow transplants and to recruit more potential donors to the Be The Match Registry® to give patients with blood-related diseases a chance for survival.
People of similar ethnic backgrounds are more likely to provide tissue matches for one another. To increase the likelihood of finding matches in minority communities, it is critical that members of the African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Native American communities become part of the Be The Match Registry®.
Since tissue type is inherited, patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds have the greatest difficulty finding a suitable unrelated donor therefore recruiting new and ethnically diverse registry members is key to the ongoing success of the program. Adding more diverse members increases the likelihood that all patients will find a life-saving match.
Joining the Be The Match Registry® is fast, easy and painless. Anyone age 18-60 who is willing to donate to any patient in need and meets the health guidelines can join. Would-be donors simply complete a short health history and consent form and a sample of cells is collected through a cheek swab for initial testing.
Join the registry at any Colorado Marrow Donor Program (CMDP) drive, any Bonfils community donor center or online.
If Be the Match® indicates you may be a matched donor, CMDP will inform you of your status and arrange for additional testing.
If further testing indicates you're a precise match with the patient, you will receive a thorough physical examination and will be provided with detailed information about the donation process. You will be asked to donate cells through one of two ways - a donation of marrow or a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation. You recover quickly from either procedure and your cells are naturally replenished within a few weeks.
Donors are encouraged to keep their contact information current by contacting CMDP.
For more information about CMDP and marrow donation, call 303.363.2345 or 800.619.1099 or email Patty Owens. Visit bethematch.org for more information.