Finding the perfect match: Bone marrow registry drive July 2
Family and friends are hoping a bone marrow registry drive can help a young Trumbull woman and others find their “perfect match” July 2.
Shea Marazita, 23, was diagnosed April 23 with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, after her family says she didn’t feel quite like herself for a few weeks. She is undergoing chemotherapy and is in remission. However, she only has a 30% chance of staying in remission without a bone marrow transplant. So far, siblings and family members have not proved to be matches for the transplant. She is working with doctors to find a match and that’s where community support comes in.
Her family is hoping to spread the word and help others July 2 with a Be the Match (bethematch.org) marrow drive. Those between the ages of 18 and 44 are needed. The registry event is Thursday, July 2, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Trumbull Library Community Room, 33 Quality St.
Joining the bone marrow registry involves filling out some paperwork and having a swab of cheek cells taken to be tissue-typed.
The Be The Match Registry is an anonymous registry. Donors that enter the registry will be put in to match anyone all over the world. If people are already registered they do not have to come to the drive and register again, according to organizers. Those people will be automatically listed when Marazita’s doctor is searching the registry.
Those over the age of 44 are encouraged to come and volunteer.
“Members in the 18-44 age group are requested by transplant doctors more than 90% of the time,” according to organizers. “Studies have shown that younger donors are the best for patients because they provide the greatest chance for transplant success. As a nonprofit organization Be The match ensures that we are using our funding to best serve patients by adding donors that are called upon the most. Once you are on the registry you stay on until your 61st birthday.”
People that are over 44 and feel strongly about joining can register online at www.bethematch.org although they will be asked to cover the cost to add them to the registry, $100.
The cost of joining the registtry will be covered by health insurance and Michael’s Fund. There will be no out-of-pocket cost.