Impact: Delete Blood Cancer

By Tonka Dobreva 05.27.2015 interact

Today on the show you learned about Sam and Alex Kimura — the two sisters who took on a cross-country journey to spread the word about the need for bone marrow donors. Sam and Alex are traveling to all 50 states in 2015 with a goal of registering 50,000 donors with Delete Blood Cancer. To do that, the girls are hosting donor registration events, called Donor Jams, in communities and colleges around the country.  At each event, people swab the inside of their cheek and signs up to be a potential match for a patient in need.

Bone marrow transplants could be life saving for people suffering from blood cancer. While some patients (about 30 percent) are lucky to find a matching donor within their family, most (an estimated 70 percent, or approximately 14,000 people each year) have to look outside of the family and rely on the benevolence of strangers for cure. To be eligible, donors have to be ages 18 to 55 and in good health.

In case your are wondering, donating bone marrow is not the same as donating blood. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside your bones that produces blood stem cells. These are the cells that produce red and white blood cells. There are two ways to donate — in most cases, it’s via a non-surgical procedure that collects blood stem cells from the bloodstream; in some cases, however, especially when the recipient of the bone marrow is a child, a surgical procedure (performed under anesthesia to prevent pain) might be necessary. In the latter case, marrow cells from the back of the hip bone are collected using a syringe. Experts say that both donation procedures result in some level of discomfort but aren’t necessarily painful.

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Here are ways how you can help:

  • In you are over the age of 18, you can register as a bone marrow donor and help save a life.
  • Swab your friends! If you have 5-10 friends or family members that are eligible and might want to sign up to be donors, you can contact Sam and Alex at info@sharemarrow.com — just tell them your name and shipping address and they can get registration forms and cheek swabs to you in a week or two!
  • You can become a Donor Champ by spreading the word on social media (Facebook and Instagram), in your community or volunteering at one of the local events. Use the email above for contact to find out more.
  • You can also host a fundraiser and donate the money directly to the Delete Blood Cancer organization.

Photo credit: Sharingamericasmarrow.com

comments

  1. Lydia

    I hope you can find a matching bone marrow, Sam. It’s like a Cinderella story – you are trying to find the glass slipper to match up with your bones (feet). I can’t be eligible, but I will try to help somehow. Good luck!
    For those who have blood cancer – have hope and faith! There are people who want to help!

  2. kassie

    hi i am kassie a 13 year old girl and this project that your doing is really cool and i wish i could help you but i am too yong i will help by spreading the word for ya’ll hope you find some matches to the sick people.

  3. kassie

    I am so sorry i can’t help you with this and i really want to but i am not 18 i’m 13 so when i am 18 if your still doing this project i will donate and i hope i am a match to someone. I will spread the word though.

  4. Martha

    Stay strong Sam. My daughter was also diagnosed with SAA at the age of 10. She had a bone marrow transplant in 2013. He donor is from Canada, he actually registered in Israel while attending University. Don’t lose hope!!

  5. Taylor

    I feel so bad for u Sam I will try to get all the help I can posible get u

  6. jada

    i really wish that i can help. Soon im going to ask my mom is i can donate for this cause 🙂

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