November 23, 2008

1. The most likely match is someone of the same or similar ethnicity

95% of people with sickle cell anemia are of African descent. Currently the only people who get transplants for severe cases are young people. Black people of all ages with diseases like leukemia, lymphoma and aplastic anemia deserve the same chance at a transplant, often the best chance for survival if it is proposed.
Doreene meets Daniel, who she donated to even though they live in different continents. This is a still from their first meeting.

2. 75% of European-Canadians find an unrelated match. Only 10-30% of "anybody else" find an unrelated match.

40% of patients who need a transplant are minorities, but as registrants they only represent 13%.

3. Due to genetic variance, 1 in 500 Europeans need to be on the registry, but 1 in 10 Africans should be on the registry worldwide.

Due to the history of our migrations, there is more genetic diversity among people who identify themselves as black, African, African-American -Canadian -Caribbean. Caribbean people are among some of the hardest to type in the world, as are people of mixed ethnicity.

4. There aren't enough of us in the Canadian registry.

0.5% of the entire registry is classified as black and less than 0.2% is classified as multiethnic. (Under 2000 people - we need almost 80000 more.)

5. The shortage is worldwide.

Donors and recipients can live in different countries. In the US, 515 000 who selected African-American are registered in the US and this is a shortage. The number should be about 4 million.

A search can be international if no one is found in North America, but there are not enough people of African descent registered in the world. There are no registries in the Caribbean or Africa (except South Africa).

People who are sick who live in countries without a registry can still benefit from an unrelated donor registered somewhere else.

Can you cut and paste this note and post it to your blog or Facebook profile or a relevant user forum? Find 5 people to discuss this with face-to-face.

You have your brother, sister, cousin, significant other, parents, children, colleagues, fellow students, good friend, hairdresser, local community businessman, pastor and others to choose from.

If you have registered, let people know!

Please let me know what you think.

How To Register in Quebec
How To Register in Canada
How To Register Online in the United States

Stem Cell Awareness - Why is it important to everyone?
By the Numbers: Still a State of Emergency

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posted by Tamu at


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