Jennifer Jones Austin is a complete stranger to me. But in the coming months you’re going to hear me talk a great deal about people just like her. At the age of 41 this mother of two is suffering from leukemia. Though with this serious form of cancer Jennifer’s prospects for survival will increase dramatically if she receives a bone marrow transplant.
But first she needs a donor. A successful transplant requires a very specific tissue match. The most likely donor candidate will be a person who shares her genetic ancestry. Unfortunately, African-Americans represent only 2 percent of the pool of registered donors in the United States. The chances of Jennifer finding a match are quite low.
Unless more people of color, African-Americans in particular, sign up as bone marrow donors tens of thousands of people like Jennifer will die waiting for a transplant. But a new medical procedure now makes bone marrow donation a simple and significantly less invasive procedure that requires only a few injections and a needle extraction. It’s no longer the risky painful surgical procedure it once was. Bone marrow can be donated with only a few short hospital visits and without missing a single day of work. It’s really that simple. But first you must register and that’s even easier!
Watch this video and write in with your questions. I’m registered. I hope you will be too.
The Icla da Silva Foundation www.icla.org is recruting bone marrow donors and provides support survices to children and adults with leukemia and other diseases that can be treated by marrow transplants.
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