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What is Shrink The Gap?

Every 3 minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer.

Shrink The Gap is a Chicago-based campaign supporting Be The Match's efforts to connect patients with marrow donors. Shrink The Gap aims to eliminate the disparity in finding suitable donors among minority communities versus the Caucasian population. Marrow transplants are used to treat diseases such as blood cancer and sickle-cell anemia. By spreading awareness about this issue, we hope to increase ethnic diversity within the marrow registry established by Be The Match.

 

At the moment, a Caucasian individual has a 77% chance of finding a donor on the Be The Match Registry, while African American individuals only have a 23% chance.  

Interesting Facts

  • 1 in 430 people who join the Be the Match Registry will match a patient and go on to donate.

 

  • Over 20 million have joined the Be the Match Registry to date.

 

  • A blood stem cell transplant can be a CURE for over 70 diseases including blood cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, etc) , sickle cell anemia and aplastic anemia to name a few.

  • A patient has only a 30% chance of having a match in the family. 70% of patients rely on the Registry for a match​.

 

  • Patients are most likely to match donors who share the same ethnic background.

 

  • For the following patient groups: There is a disparity on the Registry and ethnically diverse donors are desperately needed. Here is the chance of finding a match on the Registry for the following patients: Caucasian 77%, Hispanic 46%, Asian/South Asian 41% and African American 23%

 

  • About 80% of donors provide their peripheral blood stem cells, a non-surgical process similar to extracting plasma or platelets. The other 20% donate their marrow through a process where a small amount is taken from the pelvic bone with a fine needle while under anesthesia. Both methods are relatively pain-free and generally do not trigger any lasting side effects for the donor.

Join Us

Help us Shrink the Gap!

Or text: ShrinkTheGap to 61474