What if you could possibly save a life, would you be interested in trying?
Every 4 minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. For people who are diagnosed with leukemia or othe life-threatening blood diseases, a bone marrow transplant may be one of the keys to survival. For that to happen, patients have to depend on others to step up and join a marrow donor program.
That is the idea behind a partnership between a San Antonio company called GenCure (a subsidiary of BioBridge Global) and Be The Match, the national marrow donor registry.
According to GenCure, each person has a unique genetic set of tissue typing where ther immune system is concerned. It is an inherited characteristic, much like eye or hair color, and matches generally come from a patient's own ethnic group. Signing up for the Be The Match Registry simply means you are making yourself available to patients who might one day need you.
Recently, we reported on a young local girl, Hilari De Leon, who has been battling a rare blood disease. Since her diagnosis, Hilari has required weekly blood and platelet transfusions. Now, though, a perfect bone marrow match has been found, giving her a renewed sense of optimism about what's ahead.
It is a success story that has the potential to be matched time and time again.
Those who are interested in becoming a bone marrow donor must be between the ages of 18 and 44 and can register at www.BeTheMatch.org, which consists of paperwork and a cheek swab. Once included, doctors are able to search for patient matches. One in 540 then go on to donate.
Locally, any business or organization who would like to sponsor a bone marrow registry drive should contact Leticia Mondragon at (361) 480-2820 or Leticia.Mondragon@gencure.org.