About Be The Match
To educate and register donors for the Be The Match® Registry, to promote awareness of the life-saving need for marrow or peripheral blood stem cell donations from adult donors to patients awaiting transplant, and to raise funds for donor testing, typing and recruitment.
Every year, 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma, and their best option for a cure is a transplant from an unrelated marrow donor or cord blood unit.
Patients diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma make up approximately 72 percent of transplants facilitated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), which operates the Be The Match Registry. The remaining patients undergo transplant to treat a variety of immune system and inherited disorders.
In 1991, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center was recognized as an accredited donor center for the NMDP. We have educated and recruited more than 90,000 potential donors who are willing to donate marrow or blood cells to help save the life of anyone, anywhere in the world.
There is a need for more potential donors, especially from diverse populations. Because tissue types are inherited in the same way as hair or eye color, a patient's best chance of finding a match is a brother or sister. Only 30 percent of patients have a suitably matched donor in their family. The next best chance of finding a match is between people who share a similar racial and ethnic background.
The Be The Match Registry provides access to more than 8 million potential marrow donors and 160,000 cord blood units, as well as donors and cord blood units listed on international registries. Even so, the registry is not yet diverse enough to assure all patients an equal chance of finding a match. Be The Match continues to add new members to the registry through targeted recruitment of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
How Do I Join?
A person of any race, ethnicity or gender who is 18 to 60 (up until 61st birthday) years old and who meets donation health guidelines can become a volunteer potential marrow or blood stem cell donor. All potential donors will:
- Be given information about the marrow and peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation processes
- Complete a brief health questionnaire to verify your eligibility to join the registry
- Sign a form consenting to have your tissue type listed on the registry until your 61st birthday
All Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center Neighborhood Donor Centers will be accepting those interested in becoming potential donors.
For more information, call (713) 791-6697.