I am sending this message to as many Black people on the Internet as
I can. I apologize to those of you who may not wish to read about this, but
this is reality. I learned about this crisis through a friend of mine who
is dying from Leukemia, but I wish someone had told me sooner. I am trying
to tell other people before one of your friends is dying. The amazing thing
about the attached information is that many white people will pay $50.00 to
register with the NMDP while Black, Hispanic, and Native American do not
have to pay anything and we are unwilling. Rather than endure a bit of
discomfort I guess we would rather see our brothers and sisters of all ages
die. Please direct all e-mail feedback to my address, [log in to unmask],
with the subject I have used here. Unlike other crises in our community
this is one we can easily handle by spreading the word. Peace...
WE=92RE BLACK, WE=92RE WAITING, WE=92RE DYING
The Friends of Phyllis Cole-Hollis Committee was formed in August of 1993
with the main purpose of finding a bone marrow donor for Phyllis. Phyllis
was diagnosed in March of 1993 with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. In our
efforts to achieve this goal we found that our mission had even greater
implications. To find a match, we needed to launch a grass roots education
process focusing on people of African ancestry.
=93Our mission is to nationally educate and motivate all people, with a=
on people of African ancestry and other minorities. Our intent is to make
people aware of the seriousness of leukemia and other cancerous blood
diseases with an ongoing effort to save lives through donor recruitment=
Many of us are unaware of the urgency of recruiting the Black community into
the bone marrow registry. The National Marrow Donor Program is a registry
of volunteers willing to offer the chance of a lifetime to people like
Phyllis who have been diagnosed with Leukemia and other fatal blood
diseases. They will continue to wait and die unless we act.
Leukemia and other fatal blood diseases are killing our brothers and sisters
by the thousands. Just think if someone, anyone had taken the time and made
a loud noise and told somebody, anybody, how many members of our family
could have been saved?
The unique characteristics of an individual=92s bone marrow are inherited in
the same way one inherits skin, eye and hair color. This means that if a
sibling does not match, the best chances of finding a matched marrow donor
is with someone of the same racial background. A person of African
ancestry=92s best chance of finding a match is with another person of=
HOW DO I BECOME A MARROW DONOR ?
You learn about marrow donation and give a small blood sample. NMDP donor
center representatives inform you about becoming a volunteer donor and the
donation process. After you consent to being listed on the Registry, you
give a small amount of blood.
Your marrow type is determined and entered onto the NMDP Registry. Your
blood is tested to determine its human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type. The
results are added to NMDP=92s main computer, which is searched=
on behalf of patients who need a marrow transplant.
You are contacted if a preliminary match is found. If the computerized
Registry indicates that your marrow may match any of the patients in need,
your donor center coordinator informs you of your results and arranges
A compatible match is identified. Further testing may indicate that your
precise HLA-type is compatible with the patient. Special counselors provide
your with detailed information about the marrow donation process and your
options as a volunteer donor. You also receive a thorough physical=
You decide whether to donate. After being fully informed about the donor
experience, you make the decision =97 with the support of your friends and
loved ones =97 to become a donor.
A small amount of your marrow is collected. In the hospital, marrow is
extracted from the back of your hip bone using a special needle and syringe.
The donor is under local anesthesia during the process.
You recover quickly from the procedure. The marrow collection procedure
typically involves one night in the hospital. After being discharged, you
can resume normal activity, although you may experience some soreness for
several days, or slightly loner. Your marrow naturally replenishes itself
within a few weeks.
There are a total of 1,767,014 persons registered in the National Marrow
123,928 persons of African Ancestry are registered in the NMDP.
The odds of finding an unrelated donor match can range from 1:20,000 to
1:1,000,000 for Africans the chances rise to 1:50,000 and 1:1,000,000.
Based on the current enrollment of persons of African ancestry in the
registry, on 5 persons of African ancestry will find a match this year out
of the thousands that are seaching.
Since the registry=92s inception in 1986 there have been a total of 3,000
transplants but there have only been 94 transplants for persons of African
That equates to an average of 8 African transplants per year over the past
nine years. At any given moment there are approximately 3,000 persons of
African ancestry awaiting transplant. Approximately 2500 new cases of Bone
Marrow transplantable diseases are diagnosed each year in the "minority"
For More Information Call:
Friends of Phyllis Cole-Hollis Committee
914-699-2995 (Mt. Vernon, NY, USA)
National Marrow Donor Program
Philip D. Carpenter-Lee
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Black Pearls Discussion Group Issues in Africanity