NEW YORK — The month of July is African Bone Marrow Awareness month and Delete Blood Cancer DKMS is participating in their ongoing efforts to lead the fight to defeat blood cancer and bone marrow disorders by empowering people to take action, give bone marrow and save lives.
Every year, more than 12,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed with blood cancers and bone marrow disorders for which a bone marrow transplant could be their best hope for a cure.
Certain types of bone marrow disorders, such as Sickle Cell Disease, and blood cancers, such as Myeloma, are the most prevalent amongst African Americans; 1 in 500 African Americans has Sickle Cell Disease and African Americans are twice as likely to be affected by myeloma than Caucasians. Approximately 3 percent of all cancer deaths among African Americans are caused by Myeloma.
Seventy percent of patients in need of a transplant rely on a perfect stranger for a bone marrow donation. Heritage matters, as donor-patient matches are most likely found within people of the same ethnic group. Currently, only 7 percent of those registered as bone marrow donors are African-American.
Even more disheartening is the fact that only 66 percent of African-Americans patients can find a match.
Greater genetic diversity in the African-American community makes it harder to find even one match for a patient. Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, one of the largest bone marrow donor centers in the world with 3.5 million registered bone marrow donors worldwide, is working to secure more African-American donors in their efforts to battle blood cancer and bone marrow disorders.
The process for becoming a donor is simple and involves filling out a form and swabbing the inside of the cheeks for tissue; any healthy adult between the ages of 18-55 can register.
Delete Blood Cancer DKMS offers free swab kits online at deletebloodcancer.org, so potential donors can fill out an online form, and also will send a kit free of charge, allowing potential donors to swab in the comforts of their own homes.
“We are honored to participate in African American Bone Marrow Awareness month. The more potential African- American donors we have, the more lives we can save, especially when it comes to Sickle Cell Disease and Myeloma,”said Chris Kuthan, CEO of Delete Blood Cancer. “Getting swabbed only takes a few moments, but saving a life as a donor lasts a lifetime.”
For other information about Delete Blood Cancer and how to register online visit deletebloodcancer.org