People of Color have difficulty finding bone marrow match due to limited donor pool

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Thursday, November 4, 2021
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BIPOC recipients have difficulty finding bone marrow and stem cell matches due to a limited donor pool.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The odds of finding a bone marrow match for recipients in need can be tricky, however the search is even more difficult for recipients of color.

Nine-year-old Alfredo Diaz suffers from a rare blood condition and a bone marrow match could save his life.

"Only a stem cell match, a donation from stem cells could save his life," said Natalia Torres. "He's very, very strong kid because he has gone through a lot."

Alfredo is one of dozen of Hispanic patients awaiting a match.

Dr. Abeer Madbouly, a senior scientist with the National Marrow Donor Program, says a limited donation pool makes it hard to find a match for recipients of color.

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"Unfortunately, availability declines for our donors of color," said Dr. Abeer Madbouly. "The range for African-American, Latino, Asian and Native American availability of donors ranges from around a little less than 30 percent to around 47, 48 percent."

"I don't want to lose my son," said Torres. "That's why we're raising awareness. To ask every Hispanic person to be a donor of stem cells."

If you're interested in participating in the bone marrow donor program visit Be the Match to register.

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