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Consider signing up to be a bone marrow donor

Staff Report • Oct 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts has undergone a bone marrow transplant to treat MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. Roberts was surrounded last week by family and friends as she underwent the five-minute procedure.

She’s lucky to have such support. Roberts also is lucky to have a sister who was willing and able to donate bone marrow for the procedure.

Many Americans are not as fortunate.

The National Marrow Donor Program estimates that more than 35,000 children and adults in the United States develop life-threatening diseases each year that could be cured with bone marrow and blood cell transplants. Seventy percent of them do not have a suitable matching donor in their families.

Without volunteers laboring to call attention to the national donation program, many Americans in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant might not be with us today. The NMDP helps connect patients and their physicians to qualified donors.

Currently, an average of 200 patients receive an unrelated donor transplant facilitated by the NMDP each month. Sadly, many more patients could benefit from a transplant who do not receive this therapy because there are not enough Americans who are willing to sign up as marrow donors.

A single person can make a difference in the world. You, too, can make a difference by signing up as a marrow donor today. You can begin the process by visiting bethematch.org or marrow.org to learn more.

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