Every day thousands of people get diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease such as leukemia or lymphoma. Many cases can be cured with a marrow or stem cell transplant, but it’s crucial to find a donor with a matching tissue type. Potential donors simply need to register and get a tissue test with a fast, easy swab of their cheek.
To encourage more donors, Self-Help recently teamed up with our nonprofit neighbor MDC in Durham to host a Swabbing Event. On May 12, we invited potential donors to come by the Self-Help Temple building to join the national registry for marrow donors, if eligible, and get the tissue test. Potential new donors joined the “Be the Match” registry, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987.
Among the new registrants was Brittany Bennett, an associate with Self-Help’s Development, Policy and Impact team. Brittany was drawn to the event because she knows people with cancer who have needed bone marrow transplants. “These procedures are often critically important,” said Brittany, “but many patients don’t have a match, making it necessary for more people, particularly people of color, to register. The event volunteers were well-informed and the process was very simple. I’m glad I went.”
More than 30 new potential donors registered during the event. We are grateful for the response from Self-Help and MDC staff and from generous people from around the community.