As many of you know, three of my children were diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia, a genetic disorder that, sooner or later, almost always requires a bone marrow transplant. We have been blessed. My children have all had a number of perfect matches for the doctors to choose from. However, there are many who are not so lucky. Two examples:
-a six-year-old girl in England is running out of time. The only reason she's still alive right now is frequent transfusions. She is scheduled to get a transplant in a March, but still doesn't have a match.
-a brother and a sister with Fanconi Anemia. They are Hmong. Non-whites are much less likely to find a match, because a vastly smaller percentage register to be donors.
How you can help:
1. Register as a potential donor, and encourage others also to register. You must be at least 18, and preferably younger than 45, and healthy (no cancer survivors, unfortunately.) Those under 30 are especially wanted, because a younger donor gives a better chance of transplant success.
2. If you or someone you know is pregnant, consider donating umbilical cord blood. It's the preferred choice for emergency cases; it also has a better chance of success when there is no perfect match.
You can get more information on both, and register to be a marrow donor, at www.bethematch.org
Let's see if we can give someone a miracle!