BERMUDIAN PATIENT URGENTLY IN NEED OF MARROW DONOR Recruitment Drive at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on October 1 and 2

Every day, 3,000 patients around the world search for potential bone marrow donors to become their “miracle match.” These patients (both adults and children) suffer from life-threatening diseases, and a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant is their best chance for a cure.

Because marrow and stem cell transplants require matching certain tissue traits of the donor and patient, and because tissue type is inherited, a patient´s best chance of finding a matched donor is from his or her own racial or ethnic group. “Seventy percent of these children and adults will not find a match within their family,” says Elise Collins, Donor Center Coordinator at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “These patients must turn to the unrelated donor registries to search for their miracle match.”

Diane Dismont, a patient from Bermuda, is one of many patients looking for their marrow match.

The members of Diane’s family were tested, but none was a perfect match for Diane. The family has initiated a search of the National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) Registry of volunteer marrow donors.

In order to increase her chances of finding a lifesaving bone marrow donor, the National Marrow Donor Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, in association with King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and with funding provided by The Marrow Foundation, has initiated a recruitment campaign that targets the residents of Bermuda, especially those of African descent. Recruitment drives will take place on Friday, October 1 (12:30 pm to 6 pm) and Saturday, October 2 (9 am to 4 pm) in the lobby of KEMH. No appointments are necessary. Potential donors who register at this drive will also be joining the Registry in honor of Debria Evans– another Bermudian patient who, sadly, passed away recently before her matching donor could be found. These donors will have the opportunity not only to help Diane, but anyone in the world who identifies them as a match.

“We strongly encourage residents of Bermuda to volunteer as potential donors for this drive,” said Joan Dillas-Wright, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Hospitals Board. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together for an important cause.”

Volunteers must be eligible blood donors between the ages of 18 and 59, in good general health, free of all chronic diseases, and not excessively overweight. To join the NMDP Registry, volunteers will sign a consent form agreeing to enroll on behalf of a stranger, and have a small sample of blood drawn for testing. If you have previously enrolled at another drive, you do not need to reregister. Cash donations will also be accepted to offset the $65 per person cost of typing potential donors.

The NMDP is committed to its global mission to extend and improve life through innovative stem cell therapies. Through its extensive U.S. and international network, the NMDP maintains the world’s largest and most diverse Registry of more than 5 million potential volunteer marrow and blood stem cell donors, including more than 28,000 cord blood units. The NMDP also provides resources for patients and physicians, and conducts research to improve the outcomes of stem cell

transplantation. The NMDP has facilitated more than 16,000 transplants throughout the world for patients with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and aplastic anemia, as well as certain immune system and genetic disorders. The NMDP offers searching patients who do not have suitable family donors a single point of access for all three types of stem cells used in transplantation: marrow, peripheral blood stem cells and umbilical cord blood.

For more information on marrow donation, please visit www.marrow.org.

Contact:

Kathleen Whalen
National Marrow Donor Program
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
kathleen_whalen@dfci.harvard.edu
(617) 632-2571
www.marrow.org

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