“Well I know that one day, even if I don’t get a match, in heaven I’ll have a match. In heaven, I won’t have sickle cell,” said 11-year-old Kamryn “Kami” Dukes in a Be the Match video detailing her struggles with sickle cell anemia, a life-threatening disease that affects mainly people of African ancestry, and need for a bone marrow transplant.
Since she’s Black, Kami only has a 66 to 76 percent chance of finding a marrow donor. Currently, there are only 845,000 potential Be the Match donors who are Black, whereas there are 8.7 million potential donors who are white, according to Be the Match. The best matches are people of the same ethnic background as the patient. Kami has come close to finding a match — five times to be exact. Unfortunately, the five potential donors were either unable or unwilling to donate their marrow to Kami. How heartbreaking!
Now, we’re helping to spread Kami’s story in the hopes that our readers will join the Be the Match Registry, and one of you will be a bone marrow match. Black young adults ages 18 to 35 are especially needed because the younger a person the healthier their marrow is, which means more possible matches for patients like Kami.
Be the Match is a community of donors, volunteers, health care professionals, and researchers who are committed to helping patients get the life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant they need.
It’s great that Kami has Be the Match on her side because no child should suffer so much that she’s looking forward to relief in heaven. Now the question is whether she can count on you too …
Please register as a Be the Match donor and help share Kami Dukes’s story on your social media network. How awesome would it be to know you helped cure another person?
[Images: Be the Match]