Thursday, April 17, 2008

A call to action…

When William K. Wolfrum reached out to this bitch and asked me to join in raising some awareness around the need for people…and specifically people of color…to register as potential bone marrow donors a bitch jumped at the chance to participate.

As a St. Louis native, I became aware of the need for folks to register through Nelly's efforts to find a donor for his sister who was unable to find a donor and died from Leukemia.

Ethnicity matters when matching a bone marrow donor with a person in need. 88% of white people in need of a bone marrow transplant find a match while only 60% of Black people find a suitable donor.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, 11 million people worldwide are on the bone marrow donor registry. Five million white people are registered as potential donors. 500,000 black people are and this bitch doesn’t like that one bit!

This post is a call to action for all people to register as potential bone marrow donors with the National Marrow Donor Program.

And this is a direct appeal to people of color and specifically people of African descent to lead by example and register then tell others to do the same and spread the word.

Click over right now...right here...right this minute.

Let's do this and raise awareness together.

And may those waiting for a donor match be blessed with time…

Links and such...
The National Marrow Donor Program: Here you will find a plethora of information on the bone marrow registry, including how and where you can register. They can also be reached at 1(800) 627-7692.

Jes Us For Jackie: Rapper Nelly’s ongoing effort to get African-Americans involved in the bone marrow donor registry. Nelly’s sister died from Leukemia, unable to find a donor.

Emru Townsend’s site: Townsend has worked tirelessly to create a site that has information on his plight, as well as information on bone marrow drives throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Caitlin Raymond International Registry: An International bone marrow and cord blood search and donor recruitment center.

African-American Community Health Advisory Committee: More information on the need for African-American marrow donors and information on how the process takes place.

Asians for Miracle Matches: Non-Japanese Asians, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders are also underrepresented on the marrow donor registry. A3M is trying to change that.


William K Wolfrum said...

Shark Fu, you are truly awesomtasticness personified.

To me, the best way to think of it is thusly: Imagine the joy you could give a family by being a donor. A child can get to be an adult. A sister, mother, brother, father, etc., can get more time with the one they love.

Life is so very precious. By being a donor, you can give someone the gift of life, as the NMDP.

And the fact is, it's totally a numbers game. I've been on the registry for 13 years and have received one call that I was a potential donor.They asked if I'd be willing to donate and I said yes. Then they called back two days later and said thanks, but I wasn't a good enough match. And that's it for 13 years. The only way to insure that those in need ofa donor can get one is to overwhelm the registry. And 11 million worldwide just doesn't cut it. And 500,000 Aftrican-Americans on the list is not close to enough.

Again, thank you Shark. Making friends with people like you is while I'll be blogging until they pry the keyboard from my cold dead hands.

And thank you to all your readers who will pass this message on and act on it. ABB is truly a great place on the intertubes.


Unknown said...

There is such a need for donors. I have been a blood donor since college (more than six gallons in the years since) but trying to get others to donate has been tough. I tell people I do it for the cookies and apple juice (grin), but the real reason is that what I donate cannot be manufactured, and each pint of blood helps many other folks. It is the best feeling, knowing that YOU, as an individual, can help someone with something you are not gonna miss. And adding yourself to the marrow donor list is gravy. Mmmmmmm, gravy. Thanks to a bitch for getting the word out.

Tamu said...

My brother is spending a few hours of his birthday at a blood drive to raise awareness about the bone marrow registry. He is using words and information to fight for his life and those of others.

In Canada, if you are white, 75 percent find a suitable donor. For everyone else, that number tumbles to 10-30% percent (I have not been able to find a breakdown by ethnicity for the latter group). This includes people who receive transplants involving an international donor.

There are only 1633 black registrants in Canada as of March 31, 2008. There were only 50 in my province of Quebec.

US registrants should note that 49% of US matches involve an international recipient or donor. They can help someone in a country with a shortage that is even more severe than theirs.

The Caribbean and Africa do not have any registries, except for one in South Africa that is predominantly white. Some can still receive unrelated bone marrow transplants. I have been speaking to a tenacious woman from Trinidad who is being treated from Florida who is waiting for her match, because her siblings matched each other and not her.

This is bad news for all of us, as it limits the worldwide donor pool and makes it difficult for anyone searching for a match.

Thanks you for writing about this. Please keep writing about it.

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