The 2010 U.S Census recorded that there are about 3.4 Million Pilipinos in the United States, taking up one of the largest populations of Asian descent here in the United States. However, according to the National Bone Marrow Registry, as of September 2011 of last year only .6% of Pilipinos are registered donors, making Pilipinos the least represented ethnicity in the Registry. Being the least represented in the registry makes it difficult for our fellow kababayans who are seeking a bone marrow donor that could potentially save their life.
Why are Pilipinos the least represented in the National Bone Marrow Registry? Some of the reasons why our fellow kababayans are hesitating to donate probably include the following reasons:
- They think that donating Bone Marrow can be a long and painful process.
- Some just don't believe in Donating Bone Marrow.
- Some just don't know how to donate.
There is a saying that “you don't have to be a superhero to save someone’s life." Being a bone marrow donor can give you that chance in helping make a difference, to help grant a patient hope for a second chance in life. You may be helping a mother or father that doesn’t want to leave their children; you may be helping a family who don’t want to endure the pain of losing a loved one. In either case, you will become a big part of their lives just by joining our global Pilipino family who has registered in the bone marrow registry.
You can do this by just registering in the National Bone Marrow Registry or "Be a Match". It is as simple as 1-2-3.
1. There are two ways in registering for The Be a Match registry - by going to your local Donor Center or just by logging on www.Marrow.org or through their sister sites for Asian and Multi-Ethnic Communities Asianmarrow.org or AADP.org.
2. You will be asked questions on your Medical History
3. Lastly, you will be asked to provide a swab sample. The swab sample can be provided by your local donor center or you can order 2-5 individual kits online that will be sent to you 2-3 days after you have completed the application. These kits contain 4 swabs that are applied to all four corners of your mouth. These swab samples will then be tested to determine if you are a match for a particular patient.
Just by doing this, you have successfully registered for the registry for life with no cost. If you have been determined to be a possible match, you will be contacted by a doctor to inform you that you are a match for one of the patients and to clarify if you are willing to donate bone marrow. You will then wait up to 60 days after the testing is done in order to undergo medical screening to have all your questions answered before the date of the scheduled outpatient procedure.
Bone marrow collection is an outpatient procedure; you are given anesthesia (usually general anesthesia) then doctors use a needle to collect liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone. Hospital staff will watch you closely until the anesthesia wears off, and continue to monitor your condition afterwards. Most donors go home the same day or the next morning after the procedure. After you leave the hospital, you will be contacted on a regular basis to ask about your physical condition and any side effects you are experiencing.
We Pilipinos are known to have generous hearts – let us give hope to those women, men, and children who are searching for that one donor who could potentially give them the gift of life.
Mabuhay ang Pilipino!
For more information on Bone Marrow Transplants please visit:
*Picture by: www.gocrimson.com/