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


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

Our Mission

“No one should have to die because they do not have a donor” - Alison Atlas, 1989

Cancer is a random killer. It can strike any one at any time, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race or socioeconomic status. But unfortunately, race and ethnicity do matter when it comes to curing leukemia, lymphoma, or other blood disorders.

The mission of Swab a Cheek, Save a Life, is simple: to ensure that every person who needs a life saving bone marrow transplant will have an equal opportunity to find one. We will do this by:

  1. Recruiting Minority Donors: to increase the number of people of color who are enrolled in the bone marrow registry.
  2. Keeping Donors Enrolled: educating donors so they understand what they are committing to; and, helping to ensure that donors are available when someone needs a match.

Every year, more than 10,000 people worldwide need a bone marrow transplant to survive cancer and other blood and immune disorders. A patient’s best chance of finding a genetic match lies with those of similar racial and ethnic background; but people of color are severely underrepresented in the registry. Consequently, patients within certain racial and ethnic groups die needlessly because they are unable to find a match in the registry.

Did you know that you can join the worldwide registry with a simple swab of the cheek?

We named ourselves Swab a Cheek, Save a Life, because of that simple premise. In the early days of bone marrow transplants, a blood test was required to join the registry. Today, all it takes is a simple swab of the inside of your cheek to be registered.

A Campaign of the Gift of Life Foundation

Swab a Cheek, Save a Life is an independently funded campaign of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation (GOL).* In order to further our mission, we chose to work with GOL because they have been a leader in the world of donor registries, and have built an effective model in both recruiting and retaining donors of diverse backgrounds. GOL has single-handedly changed the odds for Jewish patients – from nearly zero to more than 70%.

Our goal is to take this effective model and reach out to all people of color. With Jay Feinberg’s experience and guidance, we are confident that we can expand the registry so that NO ONE in need of a bone marrow transplant will ever have to hear their doctor say, “there is no match for you.”

You can help us change the odds for all people of color. Please join us in a global movement to save lives. Swab a Cheek, Save a Life’ vision for the future is simple:

A Match -- Anytime -- Anywhere -- For Anyone.

Get registered with a simple cheek swab today!

Click here to join the registry with Gift of Life's online donor registration.

* Gift of Life is an associate donor registry of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and a participating member of the worldwide registry Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide. Gift of Life is accredited by the World Marrow Donor Association, and holds state tissue banking licenses required for its activities.