A very dear friend of mine is suffering from a type of blood-borne cancer that is very similar to leukemia. In her particular case, she needs a blood donor so they can harvest a certain type of stem cells (peripheral blood stem cells) that will get her bone marrow healthy. She doesn’t need a bone marrow transplant, so there are no long needles placed into the donor’s hip. It’s only a blood donation. Well, plus if you are a match you get five days of injections to increase the number of blood-forming cells in your bloodstream. And then the donation process is pretty simple.

Here is some surprising information about this (from •Only 30 percent of patients who need a bone marrow transplant have a matching donor in their families.

•The remaining 70 percent must hope that a compatible stranger can be found using the national registry.

•At any given time, about 7,500 Americans are actively searching the national registry for an unrelated donor.

•Only 2 percent of population is on the national registry.

•A significant number of those on the national bone marrow registry cannot be located or will not donate when asked to do so.

•At least 3,000 people die each year because they cannot find a matching donor.

•70 percent of marrow donations use peripheral blood stem cell apheresis.

•30 percent of marrow donations use the traditional method of putting a needle in your hip.

My friend told me about this national registry, and told me that I should go onto Match Dot Com. I told her that my wife wouldn’t let me. She thought, and said that it’s Be The Match Dot Org. I went online and registered almost immediately. Once you register, they send you a simple at-home cheek swab sampling kit. You take the sample and send it back. That’s it. Once your results are analyzed, you can even find out if you are a match for a particular person, like in this case, it would be my friend.

I hope that you will consider applying to the registry also. Here is where you can help:  

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