Tampa FL - February 12, 2011
In honor of Black History Month, the Be The Match national registry and Nordstrom department stores have teamed up to help raise awareness for the need for more black marrow and umbilical cord blood donors.
According to Be The Match, more than 10,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases like sickle cell anemia and leukemia, and their best option or only option for a cure is a bone marrow or cord blood transplant.
Patients are more likely to find a matching donor from their own race or ethnicity, but only 7 percent of the Be The Match registry's 9 million members are black.
Fewer black donors means fewer potential matches for black patients needing a transplant.
A new website, www.nordstrom.com/bhm, has been set up for residents to learn more about the registry and sign up.
For every person who joins the registry as a potential marrow donor during Black History Month, Nordstrom will cover the $100 cost of adding a new member to the registry, up to $75,000.
Nordstrom is also spreading the word about the initiative with in-store events, catalogs and by sharing information with its Twitter and Facebook followers.
To join the Be The Match Registry, you must be between the ages of 18 and 60, meet health guidelines, and be willing to donate to any patient in need.