An important step in finding a cure for life-threatening diseases took place at Northern Michigan University today.
The National Marrow Donor Program partnered with the NMU Volunteer Center for a Be The Match bone marrow registration drive.
Many volunteers showed up and signed up on a national registry. This may pair the volunteers with a patient who has been diagnosed with a blood disease such as leukemia or lymphoma.
“There are actually 70 blood-related illnesses that could rely solely on a bone marrow or stem cell transplant if traditional therapies like chemotherapy and radiation fail to treat a patient,” says Be The Match recruiter Kona Dominick. “So, our registry gives patients a lot of hope and opportunity, because if someone is searching for a matching donor, only 30% of patients find match in their family. 70% of patients turn to our registry in hopes of finding a donor.”
Part of the registration process included a cheek cell sample. It was just a quick swab of the inside of the mouth. After the painless procedure, the potential donor’s name goes on the registry.
If a patient with the same overall DNA type matches that of the donor, the volunteer will be contacted and will then have the choice to go forward with the donation of bone marrow.
If you’re interested in becoming a donor or learning more, you can visit Be The Match’s website.