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Dana Farber Cancer Institute Will Sponsor A Bone Marrow Drive At IAGB Event

Press Release

On Saturday January 24th 2004 at 5PM, the India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) will be celebrating India’s Republic Day at the Burlington High School. In addition to the concert, we are also sponsoring a bone marrow drive in coordination with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the National Marrow Donor Program. We encourage you to participate in this noble cause.

What is the National Marrow Donor Program?
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is a nonprofit organization that facilitates life-saving blood stem cell transplants for patients who do not have a donor in their family. The NMDP maintains a database of more than 5 million volunteer potential donors and has relationships with 22 countries, which allows them to expand the list of potential donors.

Marrow is a substance found in the cavities of the body’s bones. It resembles blood and contains stem cells, which produce red cells, white cells and platelets. Marrow and blood stem cell transplantation has become the only real “cure” for many diseases such as leukemia, anemia, lymphoma and a number of other life threatening blood diseases. Each year, more than 30,000 children and adults in the United States are diagnosed with diseases for which a stem cell can be a cure but only 30 percent will find a matching donor within their family.

Stem cell transplants require matching certain tissue traits of the donor and the patient. Because these traits are inherited, a patient’s most likely match is someone of their own heritage. There is an urgent need for people of South Asian ethnic background. Until we reach a suitable number in our representation, many children and adults of South Asian origin will continue to die from leukemia and other blood diseases each year. If you are of South Asian or any other ethnic minority, there is no cost for the tissue-typing test.

How can you help?
You can help by joining the NMDP registry. To do this, you will need to donate a small sample of blood. The blood sample tested and then entered into the computerized NMDP registry. Remember, this is NOT a blood donation drive. They will just take about 2 teaspoons of blood and in some cases just a finger prick will be enough. Fasting is not necessary.

We thank you for becoming a member of the Marrow registry and helping those in need. Please visit the Dana Farber/NMDP Marrow Drive room at the India Republic Day celebration at the Burlington High School on Saturday, January 24th 2004 and become a member of the National Marrow Donor Program registry. Volunteers will be there from 5PM-8PM.

If you have any questions about the marrow donation process you can email the Marrow Program at Dana Farber nmdpdonor@dfci.harvard.edu. If you have questions for IAGB, please call us at 888-836-2727. Thank you. Pradeep Audho, Treasurer, IAGB.

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