Blood drive and bone marrow registry seeks minorities

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 8:07pm

Life Share's blood drive busses and bone marrow registry spent all Wednesday at Remington College's Shreveport campus.

Today's drive was open to everyone, but Brian Allison from Life Share says they are very concerned about getting people from minority groups to donate.

"There are about 10 million people on the data base total only 7 percent of that is African American."

Asians, Latinos and African American and all other minority groups put together, make up about 30 percent of all donors nationwide.

Mary Jo Henderson of Life Share says ethnicity, ancestry, and specific traits are key in matching blood and bone marrow donors with the patients that need help.

"We need African Americans to donate and save other African Americans' lives, and some of them are special blood donors, and what that means is they have these rare traits that only African Americans and very few asians have and it means somebody's life."

Donating blood takes only about 30 minutes from start to finish. It's something to consider knowing that even just a teaspoon of blood can save a life.

Signing up to become a bone marrow takes even less time. All a person has to do is swab cotton buds into different parts of their mouth and fill out paperwork.

Every person who joins in the bone marrow registry has as little as one in 540 chances of being a match for someone who needs help.

Henderson emphasizes that donors help out all kinds of people in need "sickle cell patients, and for our hospital patients. I mean, there's so many things, accident victims, surgeries, Cancer patients."

It's important to note that donating blood and donating stem cells have two different requirements. This means those who can't donate blood can usually still sign up for the bone marrow registry.

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For comments and story ideas contact Bia Roldan: Twitter: @biaritzroldan  


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