Be A Match - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1946102

Be A Match

Thank you to The Southampton Press and particularly to Kitty Merrill for travailing through the heavy traffic from East Hampton to interview me to share my story [“Grateful Transplant Recipient From Shinnecock Hills Invites Others To ‘Be The Match,’”, April 20].

I’m glad to have the opportunity to volunteer as an ambassador for Be the Match, communicating with our New York congresspeople to thank them for their continued support of the National Marrow Donor Program/Be the Match and to make them aware of the many projects Be the Match is involved with to continue to grow the program to save even more lives.

One pilot program being tested provides kits to doctors, especially in rural areas, that would allow patients to be swabbed at the time of diagnosis of a blood cancer/disorder. The kit is sent back to Be the Match to input into the registry. The sooner a match can be found, the better for the patient if they require a transplant and need a donor match from the registry. With increased funding being requested in this year’s annual federal budget, this is an example of a program that could become part of NMDP/Be the Match and save even more lives.

Providing the opportunity to match for everyone who may need it and increasing the donor pool, are vital to saving more lives. A patient’s likelihood of finding a matching bone marrow donor or cord blood unit on the Be the Match Registry ranges from 29 to 79 percent, depending on ethnic background. Your ethnic background can make all the difference. Join the registry and spread the word about the need to increase the ethnic background of the donor registry.

To learn more, visit and click on Support the Cause, in the dropdown menu click “Join the Marrow Registry.” Regarding the importance of increasing ethnic background of the registry, click on “Transplant Basics”; in the dropdown menu, click on “How does a patient’s ethnic background affect matching?”

Linda Ashcraft
Volunteer Ambassador, Be the Match
Shinnecock Hills