Save lives like Rihanna: Become a bone marrow donor
Today, you can save a young girl's life with just a swab of your cheek.
When Shannon Tavarez was just 11-years-old she already had a promising Broadway career, performing four shows a week as young Nala in "The Lion King."
Now Shannon's dream is simply to grow up. In April she was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. The symptoms hit when she was onstage. Her lower back and legs suddenly started hurting making it hard to walk.
"When I found out, it hit me really hard ... It was shocking and I thought, why me?" says Shannon, who is now getting daily chemo treatments at Schneider Children's Hospital in Long Island. Doctors say that a bone marrow transplant is her only hope.
This won't be an easy thing to do. Shannon's mother is African American and her father is Dominican. And only 8 percent of the 7 million registered bone marrow donors are African American, which means very few African Americans patients get a transplant in time to save their lives.
Registering to become a bone marrow donor is so simple. It starts with a cheek swab.
You must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health. When you register with DKMS, you will also be listed on the Be The Match RegistryŽ (operated by the NMDP) and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant.
The cost to DKMS for registering a new potential bone marrow donor is $65. DKMS does not make paying the fee mandatory, but they depend on public donations and appreciate any contributions.
The DKMS mission is to recruit bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. More than 20,000 DKMS donors have already helped save lives. DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world with over 2 million registered donors. Even Rihanna is involved with this worthy cause.
To learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, visit Get Swabbed. Please help. You never know when someone -- and perhaps someone you love -- will need this life-saving treatment that only you can give.
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Video credit: DKMS
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