Leukemia survivor biking across US to encourage diversity in bone marrow transplant donor pool

Leukemia survivor biking across US to encourage diversity in bone marrow transplant donor pool

CHICAGO (TOC) — In terms of discovering a bone marrow match, race and ethnicity matter.

A affected person has a greater probability of discovering a match with somebody of an analogous background.

However folks of shade are far much less more likely to discover a match due to the dearth of variety amongst donors.

A leukemia survivor is working to alter that by pedaling throughout the nation on his bike.

“It will get actually troublesome. However I will be the primary one to inform you, not as difficult as sitting in your hospital room making an attempt wanting by means of the window, hoping that, you already know, there is a treatment for you,” Ahamadu Sirleaf mentioned.

Sirleaf is driving throughout America on his bike to encourage folks of shade to join the Nationwide Marrow Donor Program.

RELATED: Stem cell transplant saves lifetime of Bourbonnais toddler with leukemia

Out of all of the demographic teams, Black individuals are the least more likely to discover a match and white individuals are the most probably, in keeping with Be The Match.

“If somebody has a high-risk illness, is just not capable of get their transplant, then their possibilities of dying from that illness is far increased than somebody who was capable of get a stem cell transplant,” mentioned Dr. Kehinde Adekola, with Lurie Most cancers Middle at Northwestern Medication.

Medical doctors weren’t capable of finding a match for Sirleaf within the nationwide registry.

After sending check kits to his siblings in his native Liberia, they found Sirleaf’s youthful brother was a half-match.

Thankfully, Sirleaf’s youthful brother was a half-match. Sirleaf underwent a bone marrow transplant.

He is now decided to assist others.

Sirleaf is partnering with Northwestern Medication and Be the Match to host a Bone Marrow Drive at Apostolic Religion Church in Bronzeville on Sunday. The occasion will probably be at Apostolic Religion Church, situated at 3823 S. Indiana Ave. from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“We now have to get African Individuals to enroll to be donors, regardless of the disparity, no matter is inflicting the disparity, we have to take down that barrier,” Sirleaf mentioned.

Sirleaf is the founder and government director of Hope is Loud, a non-profit that seeks to lift consciousness about well being inequities that have an effect on the BIPOC communities.

One other latest stem cell transplant recipient at Northwestern Memorial mentioned elevating consciousness is vital to extend the variety of donors from communities of shade.

“It’s one thing that you do not take into consideration till you want it, or somebody you like wants it. It’s simply one thing that now we have to maintain speaking about,” Sharrell Griffin-Smith mentioned.

Sirleaf started his journey in Washington, D.C. on July 29. His remaining vacation spot is Seattle. He hopes to reach there subsequent Friday. With every cease, Sirleaf needs to encourage folks to sort out well being inequities of their communities.

“We would like to have the ability to implant a motion, so to talk, in every of those church buildings and cities that we undergo so these folks can proceed to work,” Sirleaf mentioned.

If you happen to’re thinking about turning into a bone marrow donor, click on right here for extra info.

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