This beautiful little girl, someone’s baby, passed away yesterday from leukemia. I had previously read about Shannon Tavarez’s fight with the disease and that celebrities had come to her aid to raise awareness. She needed a bone marrow transplant and they were unable to find a match despite bone marrow donor registration drives. This article shares the statistic that “83 percent of African-American patients who need marrow transplants don’t find matches after six months of searching.”
From this article about a woman who is currently searching for a match, “Aside from siblings, nonfamily members of a similar race and ethnicity provide the best shot at a match. With relatively few African-Americans on the national donor registry – only 7% of 8 million people – about 80% of black patients never find a match…Registering requires a simple mouth swabbing, and donating is a nonsurgical outpatient procedure.”
Like I said, I read about this little girl before, but still didn’t realize the registration is that easy. I admit to having fear of the unknown about the extraction process. I also admit to feeling embarrassed that I’ve never got set up to see if I might be a match for someone. Sometimes we don’t think we can make a difference as individuals and that’s false. As a result of this news, I did a little research for myself. I hope that some of you will consider reading more about bone marrow donation and/or telling someone you know.
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