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The 25th Century Foundation commits $50K to Be The Match Donor For All study

Jim Buck and fellow family members have committed $50K toward funding the Donor For All study, through their 25th Century Foundation based in Radnor, PA. 

Led by Be The Match, this groundbreaking study aims at expanding the success and use of identified donors beyond the current 8/8 human leukocyte antigen (HLA) match requirement, creating unprecedented access to a quality donor for everyone.

Jim’s sister, Sissy, passed away from aplastic anemia 46 years ago, and Jim’s family is passionate about medical advancements made possible through research in bone marrow disorders. 

With two Philadelphia universities involved in the Donor For All trial—the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University—the Buck family will be supporting local health care institutions through an initiative that could impact patient equity and access everywhere.

“We wanted to do something that would provide return for our community,” Jim explained. “That’s a big requirement for us as foundation board members.”

Patients are most likely to match marrow donors who share the same ethnic background. However, many ethnicities are severely underrepresented on the Be The Match Registry®, creating a disparity in access to a potentially life-saving transplant.

“This research is important to us, not only because of my family’s personal connection, but also because it broadens transplant access for communities that have typically had less access,” said Jim. 

Donor For All will establish a new protocol for using partially matched donor transplant in the United States and abroad. And it will significantly increase the odds of an ethnically diverse patient finding a donor—all while providing equal transplant outcomes, comparable to current survival rates with an 8/8 matched donor. 

When Sissy was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 1975, there wasn’t an established marrow donor bank—or a lot of hope. This inspired Jim’s family to get involved and learn more about the science and research. “We followed cases where patients with aplastic anemia had survived—we knew progress was being made,” he said.  “Advancements in research into bone marrow transplants as well as pharma technology have made a huge difference.”

To learn how you can support this transformational research study, contact Daniel Lee at dlee@nmdp.org.