‘Swab For Traneka’ Addresses Lack of Diversity in National Bone Marrow Bank

Bone marrowMonday August 4th 2014 (Los Angeles, CA) – #SwabForTraneka is a video campaign that spotlights Traneka Davis, an aspiring television writer living in Los Angeles who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2013. Traneka has been searching for a life-saving bone marrow donor since late last year, so far her search has turned up empty.  Of the millions of potential registered donors in the National Marrow Donor Program Registry only 7% are African-American, 7% Asian, 10% Latino, 4% Multi-Race and the remaining majority are Caucasian at nearly 65%.  This lack of diversity makes it extremely difficult for a person of color to find a life-saving match.  Unlike blood donations, your ancestry and ethnicity is a major factor in determining marrow compatibility.  In marrow donations, patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry.

Traneka’s mission is to not only use these videos to aid in her search for a donor, but to also promote the need for minorities to join the registry. By increasing the registry’s diversity this will in turn increase the odds of minorities, like Traneka who is African-American, in finding marrow matches.  ABC news anchor Robin Roberts is a spokesperson for Be The Match (operated by the National Marrow Donor Program), she was able to receive a marrow donation from her sister.  Luckily, Roberts had several siblings that could be tested as possible matches, unlike Traneka, who has only one sibling who unfortunately was not a match.

The campaign slogan was dubbed “Swab For Traneka” because cotton swabs are used (to collect tissue from inside your cheek) to join the registry.  Based on the cheek swab, there is a 1 in 500 chance that you will match one of the more than 12,000 patients in registry currently in need.  The registration process is simple (cheek swab and consent form), an overwhelming majority of the producers and actors featured in the campaign videos have joined the registry (some even swabbing on camera).  If you are lucky enough to match someone in need and move onto the donation process, you’ll find yourself in an elite group.  It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help save someone’s life.  How cool is that?

Check out the #SwabForTraneka campaign video HERE and help spread awareness.

To find out more information about Traneka visit www.Facebook.com/SupportTeamTMD

For More information on Be The Match and to request a swab kit visit www.BeTheMatch.org

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