Become a life saver – become a bone marrow donor
Why is this so important to the Dream Chaser Foundation?
This issue is very close to our hearts. Upon diagnosis, it was confirmed that Chace would need a Bone Marrow Transplant because his strain of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia was particularly aggressive. To give him the best chance at life, he needed to have his cancerous marrow cleaned out and replaced with someone else’s healthy marrow. This new marrow would repopulate his body and with time, start to function properly.
However there was one major problem we didn’t anticipate having to face. Out of approximately 19 million potential donors on the international donor registry, there was no match for our boy. This was due to Chace’s unique tissue type. Chace’s Maori ancestry played a part in this uniqueness. Your genetic makeup directly affects the likelihood of you finding a match. There are currently only about 8000 people registered as Maori and Pacific Islander on the donor registry in New Zealand.
Before Chace was diagnosed we had no idea what bone marrow was, what the process is for becoming a bone marrow donor or even what conditions required a transplant. We believe that awareness and education is key to encouraging more people to donate bone marrow in New Zealand. We recognise that this is a culturally sensitive issue and needs to be approached in a respectful manner.
We are embarking upon a national bone marrow drive, where we hope to spread the word, provide information and encourage people to donate. Unfortunately we were not a match for our son, but we may be a match for someone else’s child or family member. We think that a day out of our lives to save a life is a pretty good deal! And we ask that you join us in our mission to be life saver!
We have events planned throughout the year so keep an eye out on the events page!
Please click http://www.bonemarrow.org.nz/ to find out more information about the actual process and contact details of the New Zealand Bone Marrow Donor Registry (NZBMDR).