Long-time Southborough resident Anita Backer is battling cancer. She is on the list for a bone marrow transplant, but so far has not matched with a donor. To help her, and others, in their fight against the disease, Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough will hold a bone marrow registry drive later this month. Here are all the details.
On August 18, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, in conjunction with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute National Bone Marrow Donor Program, will hold a Be The Match Registry Drive. This drive is in support of Anita Backer, a long-time resident of Southborough and long-time member of Congregation B’nai Shalom, who is in urgent need of a donor match for a life-saving transplant.
More than 35,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with life-threatening diseases that require treatment with stem cell transplants. Nearly 70 percent of these patients must rely on an unrelated donor to offer them this precious gift of life. “Finding a compatible donor is always a challenge, and certain tissue traits of the donor and the patient must match,” said Joseph H. Antin M.D., chief of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program and medical director of the unrelated donor program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “The best potential donor most likely comes from the patient’s same ethnic group.”
Joining the Be The Match Registry℠ is a simple process and requires only a small saliva test, but becoming a volunteer donor is a serious commitment. Registrants are asked to commit to donating to any patient, anywhere in the world, regardless of the patient’s sex, age, race, or ethnicity. This pledge can mean the difference between life and death for the patient.
Dana Farber has funds available to cover the cost of the test, but many insurance companies in Massachusetts are mandated to cover the cost of tissue typing for registration with the National Marrow Donor Program. For that reason, the program requests that registrants bring their insurance cards with them. More details about the drive can be found on the Congregation B’nai Shalom website at www.cbnaishalom.org/news/BeTheMatch.php.
To find out more about Dana-Farber’s Marrow Donor Program, please call 866-875-3324, email email@example.com, or visit online at www.dana-farber.org/nmdp.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, a federally designated Center for AIDS Research, and a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, a federally designated comprehensive cancer center.
Congregation B’nai Shalom is located at 117 East Main St., Westborough, MA (map).