Since last fall, I have been strategizing and planning as part of my role as Team Coordinator for my friend, Katie Rost’s campaign for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year. Several weeks ago, my friend, News Channel 8′s Rebecca Cooper had me on Washington Business Tonight to talk about Katie and Sugar Ray Leonard’s Monte Carlo Night fundraiser. During the taping, Rebecca told me about Devan Tatlow, a 20-month old diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2007. Rebecca is heavily involved in trying to find a bone marrow donor for Devan. She was able to leverage her ties to others in the media to get Devan’s story on the CBS Evening News on Saturday night. Devan’s mother is half-Indian and his father is Irish. Being mixed race, makes Devan’s search for a genetic match much more difficult. According to CBS, about two-thirds of whites are able to find and receive a bone marrow transplant, but but the odds are only 50-50 for those of mixed race. Dr. Willis Navarro, NMDP Medical Director for Transplant Services told CBS that for hispanics and Asians, only four of every ten seeking a bone marrow transplant succeed in getting one, while only one-third of African-Americans do. 14 million people worldwide have registered as potential bone marrow donors, but we need the media to raise awareness of this issue, so that more minority and mixed race individuals will register. I think it’s terrific that Rebecca was able to get national coverage for Devan and all the other minorities and mixed race patients looking for donors. Thankfully, a near-match was found at Duke’s Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, and Devan’s transplant is scheduled for later this summer. Please help spread the word, and encourage those you know to register!
If you are interested in becoming a donor, or looking for more information about the process from the National Marrow Donor Program, click here.
- Miss A