Posted on October 14, 2008

Bi-Racial Bone Marrow Hard to Find

KABC-TV (Los Angeles), October 10, 2008

This year’s historic election illustrates just how diverse our nation is. But experts say you’d never know that by looking at who’s registered to donate bone marrow. One local woman’s mixed heritage sheds the spotlight on another growing group of individuals in desperate need.


Each year, of the 10,000 to 15,000 patients who need an unrelated bone marrow match only a quarter find one. {snip}

Of the seven million people in the National Marrow Donor Program only 180,000 have multi-racial backgrounds.

“The larger the donor pool the better chance for finding a match,” said Jimmy Loon.

Jimmy Loon is a marrow expert for One Lambda, the nation’s largest supplier of bone marrow testing kits. He says the goal is to find someone with matching human leukocyte antigens located on chromosome six.

This is called a haplo-type and it’s made up of alleles inherited from each parent.