Be the Match

Overview

A wonderful, warm-hearted 12 year-old boy lay in a hospital dying from Stage 4 leukemia. His dying wish was to meet his hero, Roy Hibbert, Jr. The day before Roy was to make the surprise trip to California, young Mr. Lee Eddins passed away.

Cancer knows no race, color, religion, gender, or age. It is an equal opportunity disease that takes the lives of over 8 million people worldwide each year. That’s more than twice the number of people that die from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. However, for those who are diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma, there is a cure: YOU.

Since Lee’s death, Roy has been committed to helping save the lives of those who do not have to die from this horrible disease. The Roy Hibbert, Jr. Foundation is proud to partner with Be The Match® to raise awareness about curable cancers and encourage members of the community to join the donor registry, especially those from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds since over 90% of minority patients never find a match.

We invite you to join Roy and Be The Match® and become the lifeline that someone so desperately needs.

About Be The Match®

For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Over the past 25 years Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. We work every day to save lives through transplant.

To learn more about Be The Match® and to join the registry, visit: www.BeTheMatch.org

Donation Myths & Facts

MYTH: All donations involve surgery.

FACT: The majority of donations do not involve surgery. Today, the patient’s doctor most often requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical.  The second way of donating is marrow donation, which is a surgical procedure  In each case, donors typically go home the same day they donate.

MYTH: Donating is painful and involves a long recovery.

FACT: There can be uncomfortable but short-lived side effects of donating PBSC. Due to taking a drug called filgrastim for five days leading up to donation, PBSC donors may have headaches, joint or muscle aches, or fatigue. PBSC donors are typically back to their normal routine in one to two days.

Those donating marrow receive general or regional anesthesia, so they feel no pain during donation. Marrow donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back, for one to two weeks afterward. Most marrow donors are back to their normal activities in two to seven days.

MYTH: Donating is dangerous and weakens the donor.

FACT: Though no medical procedure is without risk, there
are rarely any long-term side effects. Be The Match®carefully prescreens all donors to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them. We also provide support and information every step of the way.

Because only five percent or less of a donor’s marrow is needed to save the patient’s life, the donor’s immune system stays strong and the cells replace themselves within four to six weeks.

MYTH: In marrow donation, pieces of bone are removed from the donor.

FACT: No pieces of bone are taken during marrow donation. Only the liquid marrow found inside the pelvic bone is needed to save the patient’s life.

MYTH: Donors have to pay to donate.

FACT: Donors never pay to donate. We reimburse travel costs, and may reimburse other costs on a case-by-case basis.

Helping Patients Get The Care They Need

  • The Be The Match Registry is the world’s largest and most diverse registry of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units. With more than 10.5 million potential donors and nearly 185,000 available cord blood units, our growing registry is helping more patients than ever before get the transplant they need.
  • On average, more than 52,000 new potential donors join the Be The Match Registry each month. More than 626,000 new potential donors joined in 2012.
  • In 2012, our network of public cord blood banks recruited more than 20,800 cord blood units.
  • In 2012, more than 14,000 U.S and international searches of the Be The Match Registry were conducted on behalf of patients seeking a matching donor or cord blood unit. More than 5,800 patients went on to receive a transplant
  • We facilitated more than 5,800 marrow, PBSC and umbilical cord blood transplants in 2012, an average of nearly 490 transplants each month.
  • Since we began operations in 1987, we have facilitated more than 55,000 marrow, peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) and umbilical cord blood transplants.
  • In 2012, more than 1,600 patients received assistance, and more than $2.5 million was paid to qualifying patients through the Be The Match Foundation® Patient Assistance Program.

The Need For Cord Blood & marrow Transplant

Every year, more than 12,000 patients in the U.S. are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma for which a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor may be their best or only hope of a cure.

About 70 percent of patients in need of a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family. They depend on the Be The Match Registry to find an unrelated donor or umbilical cord blood unit.

Financial resources are needed to:

  • Add new members to the Be The Match Registry
  • Assist transplant patients with uninsured costs, including timely donor searches and post-transplant care
  • Advance transplant research

Lee’s Story

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Lee Eddins was 12 years old when he made a wish to meet NBA star Roy Hibbert. This devoted fan had followed Roy’s career since his days at Georgetown. Lee was battling stage four Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and had received a bone marrow transplant after searching for several months for a donor. Unfortunately, the transplant didn’t take and Lee was too weak to try it again. The day Roy was scheduled to fly to Sacramento to meet Lee, he passed away. Roy informed his Twitter followers, “I’m heartbroken today. I won’t be able to meet my lil guy Lee but I will be there for his parents and family.” Roy still made the trip to Sacramento, met Lee’s family, and saw Lee’s bedroom, which was decked out with memorabilia. Now Roy encourages people to join the Be The Match Marrow Registry to deliver cures and save lives. There are 10.5 million people on the registry, but thousands like Lee are looking for their match every day.

Joining the Be The Match Marrow Registry is easy to do and simply involves completing a registry form and doing a cheek swab. For more information, go to www.indianablood.org/Donors/BeTheMatch or call 1-800-632-4722 ext 5110. If you are between 18-44 years of age, go to http://join.bethematch.org/RoyHibbert to sign up online.