Mar. 20, 2009 – Each day, more than 6,000 men, women and children search the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry for life-saving donors. These patients have leukemia and other diseases that can be treated by marrow transplants.
For a successful transplant, the tissue type of a donor needs to match the patient’s as closely as possible. The best chance of a match is between people who share the same heritage. People of all ethnic diversities are critically needed in the registry.
The University Service Corps (USC), a coalition of more than 15 campus groups collaborating on community service projects, is hosting a drive to give University of Utah students, staff, faculty and others on campus the opportunity to join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry. The registration drive will take place Tuesday, Mar. 24 through Thursday, Mar. 26. For times and locations, please see below.
The USC hopes to increase the number of individuals on the registry and educate about the critical need for marrow donors. USC also hopes to encourage others to get involved in saving lives and making an impact throughout the community and the world.
The NMDP helps people who need a life-saving marrow or blood cell transplant. It connects patients, doctors, donors and researchers to resources they need to help more people live longer, healthier lives. Bone marrow donor volunteers must be between the ages of 18 to 60 and in good health. After completing a brief health questionnaire, volunteer donors give a small cheek swab sample and sign a consent form.
All ethnically diverse people are encouraged to enter the registry. Because the characteristics that determine whether a patient and donor match are inherited, the most likely match is with a sibling. However, 70 percent of patients will not find a family match. They must rely on volunteer marrow and blood stem cell donors. Although it is possible for a diverse patient to match a donor from any racial or ethnic group, the most likely match is someone who shares a similar heritage.
The NMDP will be on campus performing the simple mouth swab tests and registering potential donors for future marrow transplants on Tuesday, Mar. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. in the LDS Institute East Cultural Hall #2; on Wednesday, Mar. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Heritage Center Lobby; and on Thursday, Mar. 26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Olpin Union West Ballroom.
Volunteers are also needed to help during the event. To volunteer, call 801.581.4811. For more information, go to www.marrow.org.