The WHYSAVEALIFE Registry Drive was started by Niambi Daniels to honor the memory of her fiance’, William H. Young, who lost his battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2005 due to the challenges in finding a bone marrow donor. That event made her realize the importance of Bone Marrow donations in minority communities.
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all patients to receive the bone marrow transplants when they need it. NMDP operates the “Be the Match Registry” which registers volunteers and offers people the unique opportunity to help a patient by donating bone marrow or umbilical cord blood. Every year, thousands of people of all ages are diagnosed with blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma, sickle cell or other life-threatening diseases and they depend on “Be The Match Registry” to find a match. Many of them will die unless they get a bone marrow or cord blood transplant from a matching donor. Seventy percent of people do not have a donor in their family and depend on “Be The Match Registry” to find a match to save their life. Patients in need of a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor are most likely to match someone of their own race and ethnicity. However, minorities are underrepresented on the NMDP Registry primarily because of a lack of awareness and misconceptions about marrow donation. We need more tissue donations to serve African Americans and other under-represented minority groups. Everyone can help by joining the registry, contributing financially or getting involved—It’s about finding a match!
Through WHYSAVEALIFE the chapter was able to help register dozens of people into the National Bone Marrow Registry. For more information visit www.marrow.org.