Members of the Hamilton community are turning out to join the Be the Match marrow registry on Feb. 11 in Beinecke. Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer and marrow transplant is their only hope. By 11:30 a.m. more than 50 students had registered as potential donors by providing a cheek swab to identify tissue type and filling out a short questionnaire. Anyone aged 18 to 44 in good health is encouraged to register. The Be the Match registry will be open today until 2 p.m.
Many believe that patients in need of a marrow transplant can get always donors from their immediate family. But in reality only one in four find a match in their family. Most patients must go to the worldwide marrow registry, but half will not find a donor match, simply because there are not enough people in the registry
Hamilton Be the Match organizer Betty House ’14, P ’99, ‘06 said the chances of actually being asked to donate marrow are only one in 500. Contrary to myth, 90 percent of the time donors donate stem cells through a non-surgical, outpatient procedure; only 10 percent are asked to donate marrow.
Michael Garbin with the national Be the Match organization is on hand in Beinecke to answer questions.