Kevin Weston has perspective. He just wants to see his little girl grow up and to grow old with his wife. But to do that, he needs your help.
This 44-year-old journalist has leukemia and needs a marrow transplant. He’s asking the nation to help him register 1,000 African American potential marrow donors in the next two months. While blood cancer is colorblind and strikes all communities, Kevin, a Stanford University journalism fellow, highlights the need for more African Americans to join the Be The Match® marrow registry.
- Patients are more likely to match someone who shares their ancestry, but only 7 percent of registered potential marrow donors are African American.
- 18-44 year olds are especially needed.
- Every year, more than 12,000 patients in the U.S. are diagnosed with blood cancers like leukemia for which a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor may be their best or only hope of a cure.
- Seventy percent of all patients who need a transplant do not have a matched donor in their family. They depend on Be The Match to find an unrelated donor.
- Research shows that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants and doctors request donors in this age group 90% of the time.
The story of many
“My story is the story of many,” said Kevin. “Each year hundreds of African American men, women and children are diagnosed with a disease that requires a bone marrow transplant. I am inspired by the fact that somewhere out there, there is a match for me, and for others who are fighting this fight. Be The Match.”
“Every day, I ask for forever with Kevin,” said Lateefah Simon, Kevin’s wife. “I know there is a match out there, and I want to do everything in my power to find that person who will save the love of my life and Lelah’s daddy.”
Join Online - You could be the one to save a life.
Kevin and Lateefah urge African Americans to join the registry either online or at a local community drive. To join online, visit http://join.bethematch.org/BeTheMatch. You’ll be asked to complete a pre-screening and a registration kit will be mailed to you to swab the inside of your cheek. Be The Match will tissue type the sample you provide and use the results to match you to patients. Simply follow the instructions and mail the kit back in its postage-prepaid envelope.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 44, join the registry today. Time is critical. Join now.