World Marrow Donor Day culminates in an annual celebration on September 16, 2017. Since 2015, it has been celebrated in more than 50 countries and it continues to bring communities together. People from all walks of life gather to share stories of brave victory, tragic defeat and ongoing courage in the face of adversity.
Hard work and determination filters through the ranks of volunteers and dedicated organizations, whose care and compassion often mean the difference between life and death for those affected by bone marrow failure. World Marrow Donor Day aims to express overwhelming gratitude to all the donors who have registered, who have already donated and who are willing to donate in future. Transplant recipients now have an extra-special opportunity to express their utmost thankfulness for brave and generous donors who grant them a second chance at a beautiful life.
World Marrow Donor Day hopes to spread public awareness and education about bone marrow donation. Thanks to media platforms and targeted events around the world, awareness is key to diversifying the pool of potential donors.. Bone Marrow educational drives include information about the need for bone marrow transplants, how and where donors can register, painless bone marrow testing procedures and the process if found as a 100% match in the years that follow.
Why Bone Marrow Donation?
Only 30% of all patients who need a bone marrow transplant will find a suitable match within family circles. Of the rest, 60% find an external match leaving 10% still searching for a suitable donor. This statistic plummets to just 20% for patients from minority groups. This unfortunate situation coupled with the fact that a perfect bone marrow match is determined by a number of different factors (including ethnicity and genetics), emphasises the dire need for more bone marrow donors, in every country of the world.
When the only way for a loved one to survive is through a perfect bone marrow match, it becomes clear what we are willing to fight for; what is most important. Bone marrow testing is a quick and painless procedure. Once on the registry, potential donors may have the chance to guarantee somebody a second chance at life.
In 2015, Bone Marrow Data Worldwide had 25 million people registered as potential donors globally. Today this has increased slightly to just over 30 million registered donors. This is not nearly enough to cover the needs of the seven billion strong global population, especially when specific genetic markers are so vital to a 100% match. Awareness and availability of information on the subject will certainly help expand the donor pool for future generations.
For patients suffering from a condition only curable through a blood marrow donation, the increased diversity of the pool of blood marrow donors becomes a lifeline. The more potential matches there are, the greater chance they have of being saved. The loving families of these courageous patients are the grateful recipients of extended time and quality of life when their loved one finds a 100% bone marrow match.
As donors themselves will attest, it is not only the patients or their families who benefit from the bone marrow donation process. For many donors, the experience itself was a life-changing privilege; and has resulted in a whole new perspective. The reality of saving a life is extravagantly beautiful; impossible to forget or to ignore, no matter your story.
How can I be involved?
On September 16, 2017, Bone Marrow Donation Drives and celebratory events will be taking place around the world. People will volunteer time and resources to finding bone marrow matches for those who need it most, while publicly thanking all donors for their generous support. In addition to the general public awareness created on the day itself, organizers hope to influence public figures, government policy makers, researchers and health professionals, too.
It is especially common to find blood marrow matches in donors younger than 35 years old. This is why college students are often the perfect candidates for testing. Enthusiastic participants, such as the team at Columbia University, are planning a huge event for World Marrow Donor Day, with students and faculty educating others and commemorating all who have contributed to this worthy cause.
World Marrow Donor Day sees a spectacular global effort to spread the word about bone marrow donation. Be it in the form of bone marrow drives, fundraising events, informational exposes or media platforms, there is room for everyone who wants to be involved. Not only those who are able to donate bone marrow (or register as donors), but for anyone who wants to contribute talents, finances and energy, too. Each and every effort is important and valued.
Ways to get involved with the Icla da Silva Foundation:
Host a Marrow Drive:
You can help us add more donors to the Be the Match registry by hosting a marrow drive. We will work very close to you and provide you with what it takes to have a successful marrow drive.
Volunteer at an Event:
The Icla da Silva Foundation appreciates the help and support of its volunteers who dedicate an average of 2,700 hours of volunteering per year.
Make a Donation:
Your gift helps us find a matching marrow donor for every patient that needs one.
Register as a Donor:
Help save a life by joining the Icla da Silva Foundation and the Be The Match Registry.
For more information on how to get involved in, or to register an event, please visit the World Marrow Donor Day website. To get involved directly with the Icla da Silva Foundation please review our website and discover ways to volunteer and make a difference. Share pictures on social media using #thankyoudonor and keep spreading the love!
Be The Match
If you would like more information about how to join the bone marrow registry, please visit our donor page or register with Be The Match Registry today. You can register online, or find a bone marrow drive in your area here. Whatever you do, don’t delay. Someone’s entire life may depend on you taking one small step.
Seize The Day
Bone Marrow Donation should not remain only an annual focus. There are plenty of opportunities for you make a difference. Volunteer, donate or contribute at any time, anywhere. We are glad to provide information, assistance and testing facilities. In this amazing community of caring world citizens, you will find overwhelming support, lasting connections and awesome inspiration behind the hard-working service providers, as they synergise to make the world a better place.