March 12, 2013

Charity Spotlight: Be The Match

Did you know that there are several forms of life-threatening blood cancers in existence today (including leukemia, lymphoma & sickle cell anemia) that can be successfully treated, allowing patients to live long and healthy lives?  Unfortunately, thousands of people of all ages are diagnosed with these blood cancers each year and 70% of these cancer patients do not have a marrow match in their families.  For a successful transplant, each patient needs a matching donor.  Without bone marrow or cord blood transplants from a matching donor, these patients could die.

The good news is that there are individuals and agencies out there that are working hard to save lives.  The National Marrow Donor Program is a nonprofit organization that operates the Be The Match Registry, the world’s largest listing of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units.  Their registry contains 20.5 million donors and more than 590,000 cord blood units.  The program raises funds to help provide transplants to all patients through the Be The Match Foundation, matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals, and conducts research so more lives can be saved.

I am a member of the Be The Match Registry, and hope you'll consider joining, too.  Read more information about joining the registry here, and click here to join.  Need some more inspiration before signing up?  Click here to read about 3 year old cancer patient Ben's success story.  Registering is as easy as some paperwork and a cheek swab, and takes less than 10 minutes. Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry, so it's important that all races and ethnic backgrounds are represented in the registry.  Donors never pay to donate marrow and they are pre-screened to ensure their health and safety prior to any transplants.

By joining the Be The Match Registry, you'd be committing to:
  • Be listed on the registry until your 61st birthday, unless you ask to be removed
  • Consider donating to any searching patient who matches you
  • Keep the organization updated if your address changes, you have significant health changes or you change your mind about being a donor
  • Respond quickly if you are contacted as a potential match for a patient

It's important to note that even after you register, you have the right to change your mind about being a donor at any time.  Donating is always voluntary.

I hope you'll consider joining me as a member of the Be The Match Registry.  If you'd like to help in a different way, I urge you to make a financial donation that will allow Be The Match to save lives or register here for a local fundraising walk+run.  No gift is too small, and since the National Marrow Donor Program is a charitable organization, your donations are tax deductible.  Please take a few minutes today to help save a life -- you won't regret it!

So, are there any readers out there familiar with this agency's work?  I want to hear from you if you've signed up to join the registry or have made a monetary donation to help fight blood cancers!

Note: I am a registered marrow donor and a financial supporter, but am otherwise not involved with this organization and have not been paid or asked by Be The Match to write this post.  This is one of many charities whose mission I believe in, and I merely wanted to do my part to rally support for their cause.  Thanks for reading!

Source for video and images:

1 comment:

  1. Yes! On the easy!!