(From an Op Ed piece in the New York Times, 1/7/10.)
Every year, more than 100,000 Americans discover that they have often life-threatening blood and bone-marrow diseases like leukemia. For many, the only hope is a transplant of blood-producing marrow cells.
Finding someone to donate the marrow is challenging, though, because the cells must be a near-perfect genetic match with the patient’s own cells, and those are hard to find. Even siblings have compatible marrow cells only 30 percent of the time. Most patients must search nationally and internationally for potential donors.
Only 7 in 10 Caucasian patients who need a donor find one. For African-Americans, the odds are longer still; only one in four do. Tens of thousands of Americans have died for lack of a donor. . .
Read the whole article.
Related piece on Bone Marrow Transplants.