Here are some key facts about the need for bone marrow:
- This year, more than 130,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a serious blood disease.
- Leukemia (a blood cancer) will strike 44,000 Americans this year, including 3,500 children. It will kill about half of the adults and about 700 of the children.
- Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.
- 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. The percentages of donors who are available and willing are: 65 for Caucasians; 47 percent for Hispanics; 44 percent for Asians; 34 percent for African-Americans.
- African-American patients find an unrelated donor 25 percent of the time.
- Asian patients find a donor about 40 percent of the time.
- Hispanic patients find a donor about 45 percent of the time.
- Caucasian patients find a donor about 75 percent of the time.
- Multi-racial people face the worst odds.
- At least 1,000 people die each year because they cannot find a matching donor.
- If an African-American finds a match on the registry, there is an 80 percent chance that the identified donor is the only match on the registry.
- Bone marrow donation requires less than five percent of marrow cells.
- 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.
- Donating bone marrow is safe: More than 35,000 people have donated bone marrow to a stranger without a single donor death.
Click HERE to learn about a blood and marrow transplant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
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