Tag Archive | "National Marrow Donor Program"

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Shaquille O’Neal Joins “Be The Match” Campaign

For the “Do Something Big” campaign, Shaquille O’Neal will ask Americans to “Be the one to save a life.” Three public service announcements will start airing on television and the Internet starting this month.

“There’s nothing bigger than life – not when someone you love is fighting to live,” O’Neal said. “That’s why I’m letting people know they have the power to save a life by joining the Be The Match Registry.”

For thousands of people battling leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases, a bone marrow transplant offers their best hope for a cure. 70% of these patients don’t have a matching donor in their families, so they depend on the Be The Match Registry, the world’s largest and most diverse listing of potential marrow donors, to find that life-saving match.

“Shaq is an American icon who’s respected for his talents, on and off the court,” said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of the National Marrow Donor Program, which operates the Be The Match Registry. “We’re honored that he is championing our mission and advocating for patients who are searching for a marrow match.”

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California Bill To Increase Cord Blood Funding

California state Legislature is considering a bill that would increase funding for the collection of umbilical cord blood, instrumental in treatment of many life-threatening diseases that is in short supply for minorities, especially Latinos and Armenians, officials say.

The Assembly Committee on Appropriations is slated to take up the funding proposal in a bill written by local Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino as lawmakers work to push several bills before the current legislative session ends. The bill would increase the supply of cord blood from minority groups.

Umbilical cord blood, which is extracted painlessly from the umbilical cord after a new birth, can be used as a substitute for marrow to treat a series of life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia, lymphoma and some cancers, through transplants, said Maria Spencer, director of legislative relations for the National Marrow Donor Program, which runs a national registry of marrow donors and stored cord-blood units.

The blood has been proven to treat nine diseases, and scientists are experimenting with using the transplants for up to seventy various illnesses and afflictions.

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