For severe patients blood diseases in some cases, a bone marrow transplant is the only hope of saving lives. Every year in our country, for about 2000 patients of all ages, including children, who need this life-saving operation, the search for an unrelated donor is activated. But the chance of finding a compatible “genetic twin” for a donation is very low: only one person in 100 thousand. This requires an increase in the number of potential donors, young people aged 18 to 35. To invite them to register with the Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (IBMDR), the “Match it Now!” initiative, a national week to raise awareness about bone marrow and hematopoietic stem cell donation, returns from 17 to 25 September.
Who can donate?
The number of members in the bone marrow donor registry has increased this year, but we need to grow even more. This is evident from the data processed by the IBMDR registry and the National Transplant Center. Notably, from January 1 to August 31, 2022, 17,753 new potential donors have already been recruited, 15 percent more than the 15,431 registered in the first eight months of 2021 and 29 percent more than the 13,768 in the same period of 2020.
However, figures are still far from those before the pandemic: almost 26 thousand young people had registered in the Register from January to August in 2019, the National Transplant Center underlines.
In order to find the “right match”, it is necessary to increase as much as possible the number of active members of the IBMDR registry, which is currently less than 500 thousand.
Becoming a potential donor is simple: all you need to do is be between the ages of 18 and 35, be in good health and weigh more than 50 pounds.
On the square and on social networks
Returning to normal after Covid is the goal of this edition of “Match it Now!”, an event promoted by the Department of Health, the National Transplant Center, the National Blood Center, the Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, the ADMO Federation, the Federation ADOCES and the Adisco Association, with the patronage of Rai per il Sociale.
After two years of pandemic, the volunteers of the associations Admo, Adoces and Adisco are present in more than a hundred Italian squares this year. Healthcare staff from the donation network and thousands of volunteers will be present to inform young people and invite them to become potential donors. To support the awareness events in the squares, there will also be a communication campaign on social media: dozens of influencers and content creators will spread the hashtag #nonceDUEsenzaTe on Instagram and Tik Tok, to remind young people that if there is no donor available, there is none. no way to help people who need a bone marrow transplant.