African American Women and Bone Marrow Disease

African American Women and Bone Marrow Disease
Photo credit. explorefcg.

 

How many of us wake up each day fully healthy with no medical worries? If there are worries, wouldn’t you want someone to help if they could? In honor of women’s history month, we wanted to shed light on an illness that affects many, especially African American women. Bone marrow is considered the flexible or spongy tissue inside of your bones, that contains stem cells. The stem cells then carry oxygen that will eventually develop into red blood cells. When a disease sets in, one can have leukemia, aplastic anemia, lymphoma or myeloproliferative disorders (medlineplus.gov).

 

I have to be honest and tell you that I had not taken a serious look at this disease and how it affects women; specifically African American women, until I read the story of Shaunise Robinson. Shaunise is 27, a school teacher in Florida and a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University. She was diagnosed with a disease called aplastic anemia. Why is this important? Her only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. However, no one in her family is a match because 1 out of every 365 African Americans diagnosed with bone marrow will need a transplant ( CDC), but African Americans have the lowest odds of finding a match (New England Journal of Medicine).

Photo credit. explorefcg.

Photo credit. explorefcg.

How can YOU help?

70% of patients that need a bone marrow transplant have to go to strangers outside of their family (DKMS.org). Anyone can register by getting their cheeks swabbed to be a potential donor.  Get a free kit HERE. The process is quick and takes less time than it takes you to check out at any store. BeTheMatch.org has also made strides to ensure they work to get the ancestry of donors, and work to help more African Americans like Shaunise in need. Will you become a donor? Shaunise and others are depending on you for help. #BeTheMatchDonor

About Dawgelene a.k.a. Dr. Dawj- Reinvented, dog lover and lover of life.

Follow Dr. Dawj on Twitter @Dawgelene

Follow Dr. Dawj on Twitter @Dawgelene

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