The United Negro College Fund will be sponsoring a marrow donor registration drive on Saturday, July 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Veterans Park. The registration drive will be held at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin tent on the park grounds.
Every year, more than 35,000 children and adults in the United States are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases. For many of them, like Starda Kelly-Howard, receiving healthy marrow and blood cell transplants is their only chance for survival. Starda was born with sickle cell disease. She needs a bone marrow transplant to help improve her quality of life. The best donor for her would be someone from the same ethnic group.
We are asking healthy African Americans to please consider joining the Be the Match Registry. By joining the registry, you could help Starda or another patient like her. People of all ethnic groups are encouraged to join the Registry. Donors of all ethnic groups are critical because patients have the best chance of finding a match within their own race. The process, including paperwork, takes approximately 30 minutes.
Joining Be the Match Registry is simple. Basic requirements for registering to be a potential donor include being between the ages of 18 and 60, in general good health and willing to be available if identified as a match for a patient in need. Once a health history form is completed, a mouth swab test is given. The swabs are tested to determine tissue type and individuals are only contacted if identified as a match.
For more information regarding the bone marrow registry and how to join please call 1-866-702-HOPE or visit www.bcw.edu/marrow.