The Harvard Cancer Society and the Asian American Brotherhood are working with the National Marrow Donor Program to recruit minorities for the National Marrow Donor Registry. Each year more than 30,000 children and adults in the United States are diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases such as leukemia. For many of these patients, a marrow or stem cell transplant is their only chance for survival. Yet such procedures are only possible when patients find donors with matching tissue types.
Thirty percent of the patients in need will find a matched donor within their family. The remaining 70 percent will turn to the NMDP’s registry of volunteer marrow and stem cell donors in the hopes of finding a match. The problem now, however, is a critical shortage of minorities on the registry.
At any given time there are 4,000 patients searching the registry for a match. Currently, 80 percent of the registered volunteer donors are Caucasian, leaving only 20 percent to represent all minorities.
At the Harvard drive volunteers will be providing information and answering questions, in addition to registering people on the National Marrow Donor Registry. The drive takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Thursday, Dec. 6, also from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Loker Green Room (Room 038). To register, it takes about 15 minutes and a small sample of blood from your arm. Donors will be informed and tested for free. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.