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Saying Yes To Saving A Life

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - Here’s good news about health and heroism in America  today:

More than 10.5 million people have made the commitment to donate  marrow to a patient-a stranger-by joining the world’s largest volunteer  marrow donor registry, the Be The Match Registry.

The Challenge

Unfortunately, nearly half of those identified as a potential match for a  patient don’t go on to donate.

The reasons are many. The potential donor’s health status may have  changed, their contact information may be outdated or they may have decided  they no longer want to donate.

A study published in the medical journal Blood found that among those who  no longer want to donate, the most common reason is feeling anxious or  worried about donation.

Ultimately, Be The Match is able to find matching, available donors for 66  percent to 93 percent of patients, depending on race or ethnicity. But  unavailable donors can cause critical delays for patients waiting for a  transplant, and for some patients it means that no match can be found.

What’s Being Done

To help, Be The Match takes several important steps to improve donor  availability, including educating people throughout the recruitment and  donation process-dispelling myths about donation, answering questions and  helping potential donors understand the life-saving impact they can have.

Current registry members are also regularly contacted to renew their  commitment to save a life. But more committed, potential donors need to join  the registry and donate if called. Growing a larger and more diverse registry  is one of the single most important ways to help more patients find a  matched-and available-donor.

How To Join The Heroes

If you are thinking of joining the Be The Match Registry, there are a few  things to keep in mind:

• Get the facts—Be  sure you understand what to expect when you join the registry so you feel  comfortable with your decision.

• Keep loved ones in the loop—When  you join the registry, tell friends and family to ensure that they understand  and support your decision.

• Stay in touch—Update  contact information regularly so you can be located quickly if you are  identified as a match. Simply visit www.BeTheMatch.org  or call (800) MARROW-2.

• Update your health status—Inform  the registry of health changes that could make you ineligible to donate, even  temporarily.

• Step up and save a life—If  called to donate and potentially save a life, say yes.

Learn More

To find out how you can help, visit www.BeTheMatch.org  or call (800) MARROW-2.