LatinaLista — There’s a marrowthon going on right now. That’s right a MARROWthon, as in bone marrow. The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has created the Be The Match Marrowthon to register 46,000 new Registry members.
They are especially interested in recruiting Latinos for the Registry.
Since 1987, when they started, the NMDP has found more than 33,000 matches for patients who needed marrow or blood cell transplants and didn’t have anyone in their families as a match.
On average, the NMDP facilitates more than 350 transplants each month, with more than 4,300 marrow and cord blood transplants in 2008.
Unfortunately, though we are all human our ethnicities do set us apart in what kinds of tissue traits we each have. As it stands now, out of 7 million registrants on the NMDP Registry, only 690,000 are Latino.
That means those Latinos diagnosed with leukemia, lymphomas or other blood cancers, which make up about 72 percent of the transplants coordinated through NMDP, have a much slimmer chance of finding a donor match that could save their lives.
The issue is so imperative that recently “Univision donated $10 million in public support across their three television networks, 64 television stations, 70 radio stations, www.univision.com and Univision MÃ³vil to encourage and recruit more Hispanic bone marrow donors.”
So from June 8-22, or until they meet their goal, people are encouraged to sign up online for free to be included in the bone marrow registry. Evidently, it usually costs about $100/person to join the Registry. The money covers the cost of processing the tissue samples and blood, but funding is available during this special promotion — for a limited time.
While none of us think it can happen to someone we love or even to ourselves, the fact remains that cancer is a nondiscriminatory disease that doesn’t care who gets it.
Yet, we do have the tools to combat it and make a full recovery but it will take the support and help of the whole Latino “village” to make that recovery a reality.
Think about saving a life.