CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - More than 200 people turned out and registered for the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be The MatchSM Registry during a drive on Tuesday February 23rd.
Each year, more than 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other diseases that may require a life-saving bone marrow or stem cell transplant. The Be The MatchSM Registry is the only hope for the 70 percent of patients needing a marrow transplant who do not have a matching donor in their family. Less than 4 in 10 patients receive the transplant they need, in many cases because no matching donor can be found.
Some of these patients are close to home, like UNC Arts and Sciences Foundation Director, Jamie May, who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2005. More than 100 patients receive bone marrow transplants each year at the N.C. Cancer Hospital.
That’s why volunteers from various offices at UNC, including Phi Gamma Delta, the College of Arts and Sciences Foundation, the UNC chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, banded together to issue a challenge to the UNC and Chapel Hill communities to join the registry.
The Be The MatchSM Registry offers people the opportunity to help a patient by registering to be a potential donor of bone marrow or stem cells. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 who meets the health guidelines and is willing to donate to any patient in need may join the registry.
“We want to thank everyone who came out to support this drive,” said Lanier May, Jamie May’s wife and one of the drive organizers.
“If you couldn’t make it yesterday, there’s still time to participate in our Be The MatchSM online drive. Please join the national registry by visiting www.marrow.org and click the join now tab and follow the online instructions. Please use the promotion code tarheel when finalizing your registration!”
For more information about the process, please visit www.marrow.org.
Photos from the Drive: