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UAPB to hold kickoff for Bone Marrow Drive September 27

Every day, thousands of patients with leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and other life-threatening diseases hope for a marrow donor who can make their transplant possible. Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their heritage. Yet out of the 9 million members on the Be The Match Registry of potential marrow donors, only 650,000 are African American.

Because Africans migrated all over the world, there is greater diversity within the African American population than other racial and ethnic groups. So African Americans can have a harder time finding a match than those of other heritages. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) has joined with the National Marrow Donor Program to help change that trend.

This partnership will be celebrated with a Be the Match© kick-off assembly for the Thursday at 11 a.m. in the J.M. Ross Theatre of the Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Building. The event will feature Quinshuanita Thomas, a Pine Bluff resident diagnosed with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) and Tracy Shavers, Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient and Be the Match© Ambassador.

A nonprofit organization, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is the global leader in providing bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants to patients in need. As Be The Match, NMDP operates the Be The Match Registry, the world’s largest listing of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units and raise funds to help provide transplants to all patients through the Be The Match Foundation®. NMDP also matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research through their research arm, the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), so more lives can be saved.

For more information about the event, call (870)575-7106.