National Marrow Donor Program Increasing Efforts To Attract Minority Donors
The National Marrow Donor Program, a not-for-profit group that manages a national registry for potential bone marrow donors, is using social networking sites to attract donors from minority communities, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The process of finding a genetic match for a bone marrow transplant is often more difficult for minorities or people who identify themselves as multiracial because patients and donors must be genetically compatible. According to the Journal, a white patient has an 88% chance of finding a match, while the odds of most minorities finding a match can be as low as 60%. The odds of some minorities actually receiving a transplant can be as low as 20% because of other factors such as access to care in their communities, the Journal reports. About seven million U.S. residents already have signed up for the national registry -- recently renamed Be the Match -- and the program also has increased outreach to younger potential donors through social networking Web sites, such as Facebook and MySpace (Landro, Wall Street Journal, 5/27).