Transplant recipients Mary, Anna, Ricky and Hend
In 2009, the National Marrow Donor Program facilitated nearly twice as
many transplants for people from racially or ethnically diverse heritage
than we did five years ago, but some patients still face a challenge in
finding a match.
The reason is that the tissue type markers used in matching are inherited. Some combinations of these markers are more common in some racial groups than others. That is why people are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity.
Reaching out to diverse communities
And that is why Be The Match works hard to reach out to diverse racial and ethnic communities. This month (July) we are celebrating African American Bone Marrow Awareness month. Next month we’re holding marrow donor drives at Marian Days, a large Vietnamese American gathering. And every month, we hold marrow donor drives at organizations and events nationwide where large groups of people sharing similar background gather.
Be The Match Registry is the most diverse donor registry in the world, but we still need more people from a variety of backgrounds to join the registry – so that more patients can be helped.