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Title
Children's of Alabama Donor Drive Encourages Citizens to "Be the Match" and Join the Team for Bone Marrow Transplants
Date
09/02/2020
Description

BIRMINGHAM (Sept. 1, 2020) – The 2020 Committed to a Cure  Bone Marrow Registry Drive will take place Wednesday, Sept. 2. Due to the COVID-10 pandemic, this year’s event is completely online at https://join.bethematch.org/ChildrensAL. The public may also join the effort by texting “ChildrensAL” to 61474. The event will also be highlighted on WBRC’s “Good Day Alabama” program that morning with Jeh Jeh Pruitt interviewing Children’s experts and patient families during the show. 

The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama is once again partnering with the Be the Match bone marrow donor registry in this effort to add names to the national registry of those willing to donate bone marrow. 

Bone marrow transplants are used as life-saving treatment for deadly cancers and blood disorders including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell disease. At Children’s, 25 to 30 young patients require this life-saving procedure every year. But sadly, the number of children who need a bone marrow transplant far exceeds the number of prospective donors. The number of registered donors from diverse racial and ethnic heritage is especially low, although the need is high. The Committed to a Cure Bone Marrow Registry Drive seeks to increase the size of the entire marrow donor pool worldwide. 

“When a patient does not have a sibling who is a suitable match for transplant, we must turn to the registry to find a donor,” explained Children’s Transplant Coordinator Melissa Wallace, BSN, RN. “We rely on the generosity of total strangers, who have at some point decided to join the registry, to be donors. Matches among people of the same race and/or ethnicity are more likely, so we need as many people as possible to join the registry to increase the pool of suitable donors for the patients needing this life-saving procedure. I am sure it is hard enough to hear that you have a life-threatening illness, but the next worst thing would be that there is a possible cure, and there is not a donor match to work with.” 

Joining the registry is quick, easy and painless on the website. All materials are shipped through the mail. 

The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders provides care and treatment for children and adolescents with all types of cancers and blood disorders. The center serves more than 1,500 cancer and sickle cell patients each year. The team of more than 300 dedicated pediatric healthcare professionals provides exceptional patient care, education and research. As a member of multiple national consortiums, research and innovative therapies done at Children’s of Alabama and the University of  Alabama at Birmingham will help save the lives of children right down the street and all over the world. More information is available at www.childrensal.org/cancer.