Robin Roberts celebrates 10 years of life-saving bone marrow transplant: how to become a donor with Be The Match

Robin Roberts is no stranger to dealing with adversity. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and then diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disease that affects the bone marrow, five years later. Luckily, her sister Sally-Ann was a near perfect match and she underwent a successful bone marrow transplant on September 20, 2012.

When Roberts returned to her “Good Morning America” ​​family on February 20, 2013, she was empowered to have him spoil her message. She shared intimate details about her life-threatening illness, documented in ABC News’ award-winning special, “Robin’s Journey,” to help educate and inform millions, and potentially save thousands of lives.

Over the past decade, Roberts and “GMA” have continued to extensively report on blood stem cell transplants, which can cure or treat more than 75 different diseases and raise awareness of the importance of the Be The Match Registry, a non-profit organization operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, which operates the largest bone marrow donor registry in the world.

To help continue raising awareness for the Bone Marrow Registry, “GMA” is teaming up with Be The Match in our “One Match, Second Chance” series from September 20 through February 20 to continue raising awareness and helping save lives. . Find out how to take the first step to registering to become a donor today.

At least 26,812 people have been added to the bone marrow registry and 140 people have received a life-saving bone marrow donation thanks to this report over the years, according to Be the Match.

While Roberts had a perfect match within his own family, approximately 70% of patients do not have a matched donor in their family and must turn to registries like Be The Match for their healing. A patient’s chance of having a matched donor available on the Be The Match registry ranges from 29% to 79%, depending on the patient’s ethnicity.

Now more than ever, the need is urgent and the statistics are staggering. Be The Match reports that regional and national recruiting efforts were down 36% at the height of the pandemic. Be The Match also reports that only 50% of people on the registry will donate when they are a match for a patient in need. Be The Match appealed in particular to young donors under the age of 40, as research has shown that young donors help improve overall patient outcomes.

Stay tuned for more stories of life-saving bone marrow donations and transplants and how you can make an impact.

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