For thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor often is their best or only hope for a cure. These patients depend on registries to find a match and a second chance at life. While many patients find the life saving match they need each year, more donors are needed to help increase the likelihood that all patients will find a match.
The National Marrow Donor Program Be a Match, a leader in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation, and will host a drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 19) at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) 3601 Fourth St., second floor Room AB500 (across from cafeteria).
Everardo Cobos, M.D., TTUHSC associate dean for oncology programs and division chief of oncology/hematology, said all donors are needed, but there is a specific need for donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds.
"Minorities are especially critical donors," Cobos said. "As patients in need of a transplant, they are most likely to match someone who shares their same race or ethnicity."
If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, meet specific health guidelines and are willing to donate to any patient in need, you can participate at the registry drive. Potential donors will be asked to complete a registration form with contact information, health information and a signed agreement to join the Be The Match Registry. Bring a driver's license and contact information for two family members or friends who would know how to reach you in the future if your contact information changes.