Contra Costa Times / By Nivia Charles
December 05 2013
Sixteen-year-old Nivia Charles wrote this op-ed piece to encourage readers to join the Be The Match Registry. Charles was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at two weeks old and, at sixteen, needs a marrow transplant as her best chance for a cure. For Nivia, it is a matter of life or death. But she cannot receive a marrow transplant, because there are currently no matching donors for her on the national Be The Match Registry. Charles has had trouble finding a match, partly due to the fact she is African American. Currently, the chance of finding a match on the Be The Match Registry is close to 93 percent for Caucasians, but for African American patients, the chances can be as low as 66 percent. Charles asks readers, especially African Americans, to join the registry and help save lives.