Arisia '10

Countdown to the Con:

Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Donor Registry Drive

This winter at Arisia, representatives of the Caitlin Raymond International Registry and volunteers from the fannish community will be running an information table and registry drive. Registration itself is simple and painless: all you have to do is swab your cheek and fill out a form. To register you must be between the ages of 16 and 60 and in general good health.

More than 35,000 patients per year, many of them children, are diagnosed with diseases treatable by marrow or stem cell transplant. These diseases include leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers and genetic diseases.

Many people do not consider donating because they may not know they can help, but also because they have misconceptions about the donation process. The drive is a great venue for getting your questions answered.

Picture of Kailee
Kailee found her donor. Please help those who are still waiting.
When someone needs a bone marrow transplant and none of their family members are a match, the registry searches for a donor whose tissue type profile is compatible. 70% of people requiring a transplant need an unrelated donor.

A person looking for a stem cell match may find one potential donor in a pool of 20,000, or 1,000,000, or more. The most likely match for someone is a person of the same or a similar ethnic background. No one is guaranteed a match, regardless of background, but ethnic minorities are especially underrepresented and patients have even less chance of finding a matching donor.

Then they have to hope that person is on the registry. You might be the match necessary to save a life.

       
SAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, January 16th, 2010
10:00am ~ 6:30pm

Legislators in several states have passed laws that make it mandatory for most insurance companies operating in these states to pay the cost of your registration. Please bring your health insurance card with you.

For more information on the importance of registering and the donation process, please visit crir.org. The inspiration for this drive is the thousands of people who are waiting on any given day for a donor.

One of them was Emru Townsend, a fan and critic. Instead of writing about animation, comics, and technology, he spent his last year writing about how people could save his life, or that of someone just like him at www.healemru.com.

This drive is in his memory.