Swab a Cheek

Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Bone Marrow Registry
Swab YOUR cheek –
YOU could save a life


YOUR contribution will be used to:

  • Register life saving donors
  • Educate donors so they are available when someone needs a match

Facts & Figures

Did you know that tissue type is hereditary, much like eye or hair color?

That is why a patient's best chance of finding a genetic match lies with those of similar ethnic or racial ancestry. That is also why increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the worldwide bone marrow registry is crucial to finding matches for all patients in need, particularly patients who are people of color.

Tragically, people of color are severely underrepresented in the bone marrow registry. This means that it is much more difficult for people of color to find a bone marrow donor and have a successful transplant. It also means that patients who are people of color are dying needlessly.

The following is a breakdown of donors in the national bone marrow registry, by race *:

  • 73% White
  • 9% Hispanic or Latino
  • 8% African American or Black
  • 7% Asians
  • 3% Multiracial
  • 1% American Indian/Alaska Native

* National Marrow Donor Program, cited in Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2009.

The statistics are both startling and horrifying.

If a Black, Latino, Native American or Asian child, for example, needed a bone marrow transplant to live, that child would have a less than 18% chance of finding a match.

If that same child were White, he/she would have a greater than 85% chance of finding a life-saving match.

We MUST change the odds for people of color.

Swab a Cheek, Save a Life is committed to changing the odds. Please register today to become a life-saving donor.

There isn’t a problem in this world that can’t be solved. The hard part is convincing people that we are all part of the solution – that each of us has something to give which cannot otherwise be given.
-- Dan Zadra


c/o Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation Development Office 800 Yamato Road, Suite #101 Boca Raton, Florida 33431 Phone: 561.982.2919