For people who get leukemia and other blood cancers, bone marrow transplants can be their only hope. Only 25% of people on the donor registry are people of color. And only 2% are mixed folks! Since just 3% of Asian Americans are registered as donors, I’m so grateful that organizations the like the Asian American Donor Program are doing critical targeted outreach in the APIA community. That community outreach is saving the lives of people like Myland, Nancy, and Christine
, who were able to find a match.
So perhaps you are sitting there overwhelmed like I was when I first learned all of this. You can do something! Here are my recommendations:
1) REGISTER as a bone marrow donor. Improved technology means it is a simple as a cheek swab (I endured the finger prick and blood sample back in the day, but you lucky ducks can just do a cheek swab).
2) Try and be nice to any siblings you may have. No pressure, but they have a 20-30% chance to be a match.
3) If you put on events, consider having an area where people can register.
4) Tell your friends and family to register.
5) Donate to organizations doing targeted outreach.
Samara Azam, Hyphen's Advertising Director, is guest-blogging.