New York, NY (PRWEB) February 13, 2006
#1 Essence & Barnes & Nobles Best Selling author and face of the Farrah Gray MasterCard launches a nationwide effort to bring attention to the need for African American Bone marrow and blood stem cell donors. This issue hits home for Gray. Gray's sister, Greek Gray was diagnosed with AML Leukemia a year ago, has now after having been in remission for only six months, just recently relapsed. Farrah's sister needs a bone marrow transplant and is searching for an African American donor.
"My campaign is to bring a transplant not only to my sister, but to the many patients worldwide in need of a marrow or blood stem cell donor and increase the number of donors in the National Marrow Donor Program Registry," said Gray. The challenge for Black and African American patients is that bone marrow and blood cell transplants require matching certain tissue traits of the donor and patient. Because these traits are inherited, a patient's most likely match is someone of the same heritage. African American patients will have a greater chance of finding matching donors when more Black and African American people join the registry and become committed donors.
A person of any race, ethnicity or gender who is 18 to 60 years old (up until 61st birthday) and who meets donation health guidelines can become a potential volunteer donor. The National Marrow Donor Program has established a registry of approximately 5.5 million potential volunteer bone marrow and blood stem cell donors. The ethnic diversity of the bone marrow registry is quite low. Although African Americans make up 12% of the population, they only account for 6% of the bone marrow registry. For many, that small percentage can mean the diffrence between life and death.
To join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to volunteer for Marrow and Blood Cell Donation by calling 1-800-526-7809 to receive a Donor Registration Form or visit http://www.marrow.org to contact your local donor center associated with the National Marrow Donor Program.
Farrah Gray Foundation