The Robin Roberts Effect: Almost 10,000 New Bone Marrow Donors
by Lauren Gelman
9,385: The number of people who signed up to be bone marrow donors with Be the Match between June 11 and 19, 2012 (the week following Roberts’ announcement)
9,000: The typical number of people who sign up during the course of an entire month
Roberts is one of the lucky ones: Her sister is a close match to donate bone marrow. But 70 percent of transplant patients don’t match with family members and need a donor. Minority patients have a harder time finding one: African American patients have a 66 percent chance and Asian and Hispanic patients have a 72 to 73 percent chance of locating a donor via Be the Match; by comparison, white patients have a 93 percent chance.
How can you help? In addition to signing up, you can also text the words “DNA” to 50555 to contribute $10 (it helps cover the $100 cost of adding people to the registry).
Photo: ©Greg Hernandez/Wikimedia Commons