You may have heard about a young actress named Shannon Tavarez, who starred in the Broadway Musical “The Lion King” as the young lion, Nala. On November 1, 2010 – only seven months after her official diagnosis – she lost her battle with leukemia and passed away at the age of 11.
Shannon’s search for a bone marrow donor match was championed by performing artists Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and 50 Cent.(1) Despite these efforts, however, the inability to find a perfect bone marrow match kept Shannon from beating acute myelogenous leukemia.
Normally, a person in need of bone marrow has a 1 in 20,000 chance of finding a match with a complete stranger.(2) But the search for a perfect donor for Shannon was even more difficult because of her mixed minority ancestry.
Minority Bone Marrow Registration Matters
Why did Shannon’s ancestry matter? Because patients are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity.
Despite this important fact, the vast majority of minorities are not registered as potential bone marrow donors – which means those who need a match, like Shannon, can’t find one in time.
In fact, 83% of African-American patients who need bone marrow transplants don’t find matches, even after six months of searching.
Register at Remington College’s Bone Marrow Drives
You can help! Joining the National Bone Marrow Registry is surprisingly easy. All you have to do is:
- Stop by a Remington College campus on Bone Marrow Registration Day.
- Complete a registration form with your contact and health information, along with an agreement to join the National Bone Marrow Registry.
- Get a donor registry kit, and follow the procedure to collect a swab sample from the inside of your cheek.
- Insert the swab into your mouth, and brush it against your inner cheek for 10 seconds.
- Hand your registration form and sealed swab to a Bone Marrow Registry representative.
That’s all it takes to register and possibly save someone’s life!
“One Swab Will Do the Job”
On Shannon’s official website, she wrote, “Please get tested today. Who knows? You might be my match. Or, you may be able to help other young people with similar illnesses. And remember.… One swab will do the job.” (3)
Join Your Remington College Bone Marrow Registration Community
If Shannon’s story isn’t enough to motivate you, talk to one of 775 fellow community members who have already joined the registry at Remington College Bone Marrow Drives across our 19 campus locations in 2010.
Don’t you think it’s time you joined, too?
Click here to find a Remington College Bone Marrow Registration Drive near you.