Celebrity Entrepreneur Farrah Gray Signs on as Campaign Spokesman for National Marrow Donor Program

Initiative to Recruit African American Bone Marrow Donors



20 Mar, 2006, 00:00 ET from The National Marrow Donor Program

    MINNEAPOLIS, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Marrow Donor Program(R)
 (NMDP) is pleased to announce best selling author Farrah Gray as the spokesman
 for the NMDP's African-American outreach and recruitment campaign.  Gray, the
 face of the Farrah Gray MasterCard, is partnering with the NMDP to launch a
 nationwide campaign designed to do two things:  create awareness about the
 need for African American donors, and recruit African Americans to join the
 NMDP's national marrow donor Registry.
     This is an issue that hits close to home:  Farrah's sister, Greek Gray was
 diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) one year ago.  Greek has
 relapsed after a six-month remission and requires a bone marrow transplant.
     "This campaign is designed to find bone marrow matches for transplants --
 not only for my sister, but for others like her, who need a marrow or cord
 blood donor so that they can have a second chance at life," said Gray.  "The
 ONLY way to ensure that is by talking to people about the need, and then
 getting them to join the Registry."
     African American patients in need of marrow transplants face great
 challenges in finding donors.  Marrow and cord blood transplants require
 matching certain tissue traits between donor and patient. Because these traits
 are inherited, the greatest chance of finding a match can be found within
 one's family.  However, 70 percent of patients who need transplants won't have
 a donor within their immediate family so for many, finding a donor of the same
 race or ethnicity may be their best hope for the life-saving gift of a marrow
 or cord blood transplant.
     "While there have been millions of potential donors who have registered,
 there remains a critical need for African American donors," said Dr. Jeff
 Chell, National Marrow Donor Program CEO.  "The fact remains that African
 American patients have a greater chance of finding a match within the African
 American community. We hope that our relationships with celebrities such as
 Nelly, Raven-Symone and now Farrah bring attention to the critical need for
 African American marrow and cord blood donors."
     A person of any race, ethnicity or gender who is 18 to 60 years old and
 meets donation health guidelines can become a potential volunteer donor.
     To learn more about joining the NMDP Registry, call 1-800-MARROW2 or visit
 http://www.marrow.org .  For more information on hosting a donor drive in your
 community, please visit http://www.greekgrayleukemiafoundation.org .
 
     About the NMDP
     The NMDP helps people who need a life-saving marrow or cord blood.  We
 connect patients, doctors, donors and researchers to resources they need to
 help more people live longer, healthier lives.  To achieve our mission, we
 search our Registry, the largest listing of volunteer donors and cord blood
 units in the world; support patients and their doctors throughout the
 transplant process; and match patients with the best donor or cord blood unit
 using innovative science and technology.
 
 

SOURCE The National Marrow Donor Program
    MINNEAPOLIS, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Marrow Donor Program(R)
 (NMDP) is pleased to announce best selling author Farrah Gray as the spokesman
 for the NMDP's African-American outreach and recruitment campaign.  Gray, the
 face of the Farrah Gray MasterCard, is partnering with the NMDP to launch a
 nationwide campaign designed to do two things:  create awareness about the
 need for African American donors, and recruit African Americans to join the
 NMDP's national marrow donor Registry.
     This is an issue that hits close to home:  Farrah's sister, Greek Gray was
 diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) one year ago.  Greek has
 relapsed after a six-month remission and requires a bone marrow transplant.
     "This campaign is designed to find bone marrow matches for transplants --
 not only for my sister, but for others like her, who need a marrow or cord
 blood donor so that they can have a second chance at life," said Gray.  "The
 ONLY way to ensure that is by talking to people about the need, and then
 getting them to join the Registry."
     African American patients in need of marrow transplants face great
 challenges in finding donors.  Marrow and cord blood transplants require
 matching certain tissue traits between donor and patient. Because these traits
 are inherited, the greatest chance of finding a match can be found within
 one's family.  However, 70 percent of patients who need transplants won't have
 a donor within their immediate family so for many, finding a donor of the same
 race or ethnicity may be their best hope for the life-saving gift of a marrow
 or cord blood transplant.
     "While there have been millions of potential donors who have registered,
 there remains a critical need for African American donors," said Dr. Jeff
 Chell, National Marrow Donor Program CEO.  "The fact remains that African
 American patients have a greater chance of finding a match within the African
 American community. We hope that our relationships with celebrities such as
 Nelly, Raven-Symone and now Farrah bring attention to the critical need for
 African American marrow and cord blood donors."
     A person of any race, ethnicity or gender who is 18 to 60 years old and
 meets donation health guidelines can become a potential volunteer donor.
     To learn more about joining the NMDP Registry, call 1-800-MARROW2 or visit
 http://www.marrow.org .  For more information on hosting a donor drive in your
 community, please visit http://www.greekgrayleukemiafoundation.org .
 
     About the NMDP
     The NMDP helps people who need a life-saving marrow or cord blood.  We
 connect patients, doctors, donors and researchers to resources they need to
 help more people live longer, healthier lives.  To achieve our mission, we
 search our Registry, the largest listing of volunteer donors and cord blood
 units in the world; support patients and their doctors throughout the
 transplant process; and match patients with the best donor or cord blood unit
 using innovative science and technology.
 
 SOURCE  The National Marrow Donor Program