African American Marrow Connection
African American Marrow Connection
Be The Match!
Every day, thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases hope for a marrow donor who can make their transplant possible. 70% of patients do not have a donor in their family. They depend on the Be The Match Registry. They depend on people like you.
Patients are more likely to find donor matches within their own racial or ethnic background. For African Americans specifically, we have more genetic diversity than any other race. However, the number of black donors on the national registry is still low. Registration is free, easy and painless (just a cheek swab).
As you search for your past, someone else is searching for a future. YOU COULD SAVE A LIFE!
Be The Match Registry is the new name of the National Marrow Donor Program Registry®.
Akiim DeShay (center) is the owner of BlackBoneMarrow.com. Three days after Thanksgiving in 2003 he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. After chemotherapy failed his only hope was a bone marrow transplant.
He only has one sibling Rashaan (right) and with odds only being 25%, she was a match. He received his transplant on
Good Friday 2004. In 2007 realizing he would be dead without it, he began advocating for those who cannot find a match and started BlackBoneMarrow.com.
Karen Drayden from Dallas Texas “I am truly sick and this illness is winning but I am trying all I can so that doctors can learn more and help the next resistant patient and it saddens me” – Jan 15, 2010
Karen was a 25 year veteran of the United States Postal Service. In early 2009 she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukeima. Read more here…
Jaden Hilton (2003-2007)
3yr old Jaden of New Jersey needed a marrow transplant to survive Leukemia. Unfortunately, his brother was not a match for him. Due to the lack of donors within the bone marrow donor pool, Jaden lost his battle to leukemia on January 29, 2007. His father Rodney joined forces with Shana and Brett Melius who formed Preserve Our Legacy, INC on a mission to pass Jaden’s Law, so that other fathers will not have to go through the same.
Having A Baby Can Save a Black Life
In the past, when a baby was born, the umbilical cord was thrown away. But today, blood from the umbilical cord can be collected after a baby’s birth and donated to a public cord blood bank to help someone with a life-threatening disease. In 2008, 42 percent of all African American Read more…
National Morrow Registry
National Donor Center
Black/Minority Marrow Organizations
Other Black Organizations
aclt.org – African Carribean Leukemia Trust
Connect with the Movement
15-year-old Taylor John has severe sickle cell disease; her best hope for a cure is a marrow transplant. Like 70 percent of patients, Taylor does not have a matching donor in her family. Doctors fear the worst if she does not get a transplant by August.
Preserve Our Legacy, INC (POL) is a non-profit organization who’s mission it is to educate yet entertain the minority community about the benefits of adult stem cell donation through bone marrow, PBSC, umbilical cord blood donation.
Jaden’s Law: a bill to require the Department of Health to establish programs in heavily minority populated areas to educate benefits of donating bone marrow or umbilical cord blood.
Umbilical Cord Blood Program: Educate expecting mothers about donotating their umbilical cords
Bone Marrow Awareness Program: Celebrity based awareness events and donor drives. Watch the Preserve Our Legacy PSA here
by POL founders Robert and Shana Melius
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
Be The Match® has partnered with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to launch the Say It Loud! Save Lives and Be Proud! program. The program is designed to increase the number of Black and African American marrow donors on the registry. With less than eight percent of the people on the registry representing Blacks or African Americans, Be The Match has extended its reach onto HBCU campuses to encourage students to help save a life.
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