ABOVE PHOTO: ’76ers guard Lou Williams and his mom attend last week’s Temple Bone Marrow Transplant Program sponsored by DKMS and the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Photo by Bill Z. Foster
Leukemia is the most common disease that children in the US die from. Less than 30 percent of patients can find a match in their own family, the other 70 percent must search for an unrelated donor. Only four out of 10 patients will receive a transplant that could save their lives.
Lou Williams, point guard for the Philadelphia ’76ers, is determined to get college students to get swabbed and save lives and he’s starting in his own community. The NBA Superstar is working alongside Temple University to hold several donor registration drives with DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center.
“The fact that there aren’t enough registered bone marrow donors to save every patient who needs a transplant has personal significance to me because my cousin needs a transplant,” Williams said. “No one should have to worry that they won’t find a matching donor.
It’s great that many Temple students have already stepped up to Get Swabbed and become bone marrow donors, but we need to keep going. I’m asking all of you to join me and DKMS in the fight against leukemia. Go to getswabbed.org to save a life.”
Lou attended the April 12 event at Temple University organized by DKMS and the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He hopes to inspire, students and fans alike to take action and register as bone marrow donors.
“It’s particularly important for young people to step up because donors between the ages of 18-25 are the best candidates for donation since they tend to be healthier and their cells more vital,” said Katharina Harf, COO, DKMS Americas. “I lost my mother to leukemia when I was 14 and I have made it my mission to recruit as many donors as possible so no family has to go through what we did.”
Registering to become a bone marrow donor is more than a cheek swab; it is a commitment to help save a life. You must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health. When you register with DKMS, you will also be listed on the Be The Match Registry® (operated by the NMDP) and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Registering one potential bone marrow donor costs DKMS $65. Because DKMS does not require new donors to pay the registration fee and does not receive government funding, DKMS must rely on donations from the general public to fund donor registrations. 100 percent of your financial contribution is used to register new potential donors. Every dollar counts!
The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. More than 24,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world with over 2.6 million registered donors. DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization.
For more information about DKMS and to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, please visit www.getswabbed.org.