Celebrity Entrepreneur Farrah Gray Signs on as Campaign Spokesman for National Marrow Donor Program
Initiative to Recruit African American Bone Marrow Donors
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
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