Every year, over 80,000 people around the globe search for a matching blood stem cell donor outside their family. Many never find the match they need to beat blood cancer. You can change that.
In the novel “The Deadly Match” by Kishan Paul, a young character named Jay needed a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia at a young age. Because of his Asian heritage, it’s harder for him to find a matching donor. Asians makes up only 6 percent of the current donor pool. A person in need of a lifesaving bone marrow transplant is more likely to find a match from one who shares the same heritage.
In the current breakdown of the registry all minority registrants combined only make up 25% of the total donor population, with African Americans facing a particular difficult time due to lack of representation. For example, currently only 66% of African American patients will even be able to find a donor, the lowest percentage of all major minority groups, compared to 97% of patients with Caucasian ancestry. Additionally, people who identify as mixed race represent one of the fastest growing segments of the population and will soon likely face the steepest odds in finding a matching donor.
The problem we face is simple: ethnic minorities are severely underrepresented on the registry, meaning that patients from those ethnic groups face much steeper odds of finding a matching donor. The solution is also simple: we need to increase awareness of the need for diverse donors, while actively increasing our outreach to these communities. With your help we can change the odds for all patients, regardless of ethnicity; one new donor at a time.