Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Mayo Clinic to Host MARROWTHON - National Bone Marrow Registry Drive, July 9th at Two Locations
The Ottosen Family Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital will host the National Marrow Donor Program's Be The Match: MARROWTHON Donor Recruitment Campaign on July 9, 2012 at two Valley locations. This is a chance for community members and employees to give the gift of life by joining the Be The Match Registry.
According to the Be The Match Marrow Registry, every year, more than 10,000 patients in the U.S. are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma for which a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor may be their best or only hope of a cure. Patients are most likely to match donors of their same race and ethnicity. If more people joined the Marrow Registry, more patients would find a donor.
The drive will take place at two locations on July 9th:
· 7 a.m. - 2 p.m., Phoenix Children’s Hospital, 1919 East Thomas Road, Phoenix, East Building Lobby
· 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Mayo Clinic Hospital, 5777 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, in Conference Room 1-212, located just off the atrium of the Main Hospital Building. (Ask at front desk for directions, if needed.)
“Joining the registry is a small, but empowering, pledge of time that can save lives and turn a hopeless situation into a hopeful one,” says Erin Curtis, pediatric bone marrow transplant coordinator, Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “Families of the patient really focus on the donor search, since it is often the end of a long and difficult time period and often represents the only real chance at a cure.”
"We are excited to host this drive, which could save the lives of adult and pediatric cancer patients waiting for a marrow transplant," says Jay Maningo-Salinas, RN, manager of the Apheresis Program at Mayo Clinic. "Every day, thousands of children and adults with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases are looking for a donor for a marrow or cord blood transplant," he added. "For a chance to survive, these patients need healthy marrow or blood cells to help their bodies make new, healthy blood cells, either from a donor within their family, or an unrelated donor from the Be The Match Registry."
People age 18-60 in generally good health are encouraged to attend the drive and fill out a short questionnaire. Then a small swab of cheek cells is taken with a cotton swab to determine the tissue type to be matched against patients who need a donor. This information is then added to the Be The Match Registry. No extraction of blood or marrow takes place at the event – just the screening and the swabbing. The test results are then added to the Registry.
If a patient does not have a matched sibling or family member, the Registry is consulted to see if there is a match. If a match is identified, people on the Registry are contacted to ascertain their willingness to proceed with donation. In 2011, More than 5,500 patients went on to receive a transplant through the NMDP.
National Crisis: Minorities asked to register immediately to fill donor pool gap
Right now, the chance of finding a match on the Be The Match Registry is close to 93 percent for Caucasians, but for African Americans and other minorities, the chances drop to 66 percent. There are 9 million people on the Be The Match Registry, but only 7 percent are African American.
“Unfortunately, myths about bone marrow donation keep many people from joining the Be The Match Registry and potentially saving a life,” said Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, singer and member of the popular 90s musical group TLC. “That is why I am passionate about encouraging everyone to learn the facts about bone marrow donation through these PSAs. We need more African Americans to step up.”
Phoenix Children's Hospital and Mayo Clinic in Arizona introduced the Valley's first pediatric blood and marrow transplant program. Ottosen Family Blood and Marrow Transplant Program fills a critical gap in the Valley. Previously, the only pediatric BMT program in the state was at University Medical Center in Tucson. This meant that families in the Valley, already struggling with the burden of having a child with cancer, had to face the additional stress and inconvenience of having a child hospitalized in a distant facility for several months.
For more information about the Marrow Donor Recruitment Campaign, call 480-342-0564 at Mayo Clinic or (602) 933-0824 at Phoenix Children’s Hospital or visit www.phoenixchildrens.com.
About Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Phoenix Children’s Hospital, ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals, is Arizona’s only licensed children’s hospital, providing world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country with 465 licensed beds, Phoenix Children’s provides care across nearly 50 pediatric specialties. The hospital is poised for continued growth in quality patient care, research and medical education. For more information about the hospital, visit www.phoenixchildrens.com.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a non-profit worldwide leader in medical care, research, and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org/about/ and www.mayoclinic.org/news.