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Entries in Bone Marrow (4)

Monday
Aug272012

Robin Roberts’ Journey and How You Can Become a Bone Marrow Donor

ABC/Fred Lee(NEW YORK) -- Robin Roberts announced Monday that Friday, Aug. 31, will be her last day on Good Morning America before she begins an extended medical leave to treat MDS.  Short for myelodysplastic syndrome, MDS is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.

As Robin prepares for her bone marrow transplant, her doctor will appear live on GMA this week to discuss her treatment, procedure and recovery process.

Since Robin announced she had MDS in June, Be the Match, an organization that helps match marrow donors to recipients and works to encourage others to volunteer, has received tremendous support.

But many people still don’t know how easy and rewarding it is to become a bone marrow donor, Be the Match CEO Dr. Jeffrey Chell explained.

“This is truly an amazing gift,” not only for the recipient but to the donor, Chell said. “Donors say their lives have been transformed by this altruistic act. They think of themselves differently. Their family thinks of them differently. How many people can say they’ve saved someone’s life?”

Seventy percent of patients don’t have matching donors in their families and need to find an unrelated adult donor, or cells from donated umbilical cord blood, according to Be the Match. The program has more than 9.5 million potential donors and nearly 165,000 available cord blood units.

“This is a need for more donors,” Chell said. “The type of matching we do is very complex and precise. … It’s so important that people join the registry [and] be committed to being on that registry.”

To join, a person needs to be between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to donate and meet health guidelines. To register, a health history form needs to be filled out and a swab of cheek cells needs to be performed. To find out more about donating and sign up for a registration kit from the Be the Match Registry, click here.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

ABC News Employees Join 'Be the Match' Bone Marrow Registry

ABC/Fred Lee(NEW YORK) -- ABC News employees are joining the world's largest marrow donor registry, potentially saving the lives of people awaiting a bone marrow transplant. The employees participated Tuesday in a Be the Match registry drive, following Good Morning America's Robin Robert's announcement several weeks ago that she had been diagnosed with a bone marrow disorder called MDS, Myelodysplastic Syndrome. It was a special day for Roberts, who was there as ABC employees lined up to become donors.

A simple mouth swab begins the process that could lead to a bone marrow donation.  

Be the Match CEO Dr. Jeffrey Chell says a bone-marrow donation simply involves drawing blood from your arm 80 percent of the time.

"It just takes about six hours," Dr. Chell says, adding that donating marrow does not require donors to be hospitalized. "You can go home. You feel perfectly normal the next day."

Chell says, "about 20 percent of the time, people still donate in the old-fashioned way, and that's through a bone-marrow incision. Under those circumstances, we put people to sleep, lie them on their stomach, make a small incision on their hip bone."

But he insists that even those donors who must undergo the more invasive procedure say that, "it was no big deal and they would be happy to donate again if there is someone in need."

Since Roberts' announcement, 11,200 people have registered -- and that number is growing.
 
"Our donors tell us that [sic] causes just a minor inconvenience and a minor discomfort," Chell says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun122012

Be the Match Registry Gains Support After Robin Roberts Diagnosis

Be The Match(NEW YORK) -- ABC News’ Robin Roberts announced Monday that she’d been diagnosed with MDS, short for myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.  Now, it appears that Roberts may have inspired thousands to act in support of Be the Match, an organization that helps match marrow donors to recipients and encourages others to volunteer.

In a letter to viewers, Roberts, also a breast cancer survivor, said that organ donors were vitally important. Despite this need, many people don’t know they can be bone marrow donors or how easy it is to become one.

In the last 24 hours, Be the Match Registry has received tremendous support, with more than 3,600 people signing up to be potential marrow donors.  On an average day, the organization says it sees 200 to 300 people register.  However the need for people to sign up, as well as donate funds so that Be the Match can continue to offer free testing, remains great.

According to Be The Match, more than 10,000 U.S. patients every year are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma.

Dr. Jeffrey Chell, CEO of Be the Match, said blood cancer cases were increasing in the U.S. because successful cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, sometimes do irreparable damage to the bone marrow.

Unfortunately, because 70 percent of patients don’t have matching donors in their families, they’ll need an unrelated adult donor, or cells from donated umbilical cord blood, Be the Match says.

The program has more than 9.5 million potential donors and nearly 165,000 available cord blood units.

“This is a need for more donors,” Chell said. ” The type of matching we do is very complex and precise.  ....It’s so important that people join the registry [and] be committed to being on that registry.”

To join, a person needs to be between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to donate and meet health guidelines. To register, a health history form needs to be filled out and a swab of cheek cells needs to be performed.

To find out more about donating and sign up for a registration kit from the Be the Match Registry, click here.

“This is truly an amazing gift,” not only for the recipient but to the donor, Chell said. “Donors say their lives have been transformed by this altruistic act. They think of themselves differently. Their family thinks of them differently. How many people can say they’ve saved someone’s life?”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun112012

Robin Roberts’ Illness: Be the Match Urges More to Donate Bone Marrow

Be The Match Registry(NEW YORK) -- ABC News’ Robin Roberts announced Monday that she’d been diagnosed with MDS, short for myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.

In a letter to viewers, Roberts, also a breast cancer survivor, said that organ donors were vitally important. Despite this need, many people don’t know they can be bone marrow donors or how easy it is to become one.

According to Be the Match -- an organization that helps match marrow donors to recipients, and encourage others to volunteer -- more than 10,000 U.S. patients every year are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma.

Dr. Jeffrey Chell, CEO of Be the Match, said blood cancer cases were increasing in the U.S. because successful cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, sometimes do irreparable damage to the bone marrow.

Unfortunately, because 70 percent of patients don’t have matching donors in their families, they’ll need an unrelated adult donor, or cells from donated umbilical cord blood, Be the Match says.

The program has more than 9.5 million potential donors and nearly 165,000 available cord blood units.

“This is a need for more donors,” Chell said. "The type of matching we do is very complex and precise.  … It’s so important that people join the registry [and] be committed to being on that registry.”

To join, a person needs to be between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to donate and meet health guidelines. To register, a health history form needs to be filled out and a swab of cheek cells needs to be performed.

To find out more about donating and sign up for a registration kit from the Be the Match Registry, click here.

“This is truly an amazing gift,” not only for the recipient but to the donor, Chell said. “Donors say their lives have been transformed by this altruistic act. They think of themselves differently. Their family thinks of them differently. How many people can say they’ve saved someone’s life?”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio