Katharina Harf, co-founder of the bone marrow registry DKMS, said it was particularly difficult to find a perfect match for Tavarez because her mother is African-American and her father is Hispanic. For bone marrow transplants, minorities and those of mixed ancestry have a more difficult time finding good matches. There aren't as many people from those groups signed up as potential donors.I'm on a bone marrow donation list and have been for years. How about you? You can sign up at your local blood bank. They take a phial of blood from you and put you on the registry. For more information, go to the National Bone Marrow Donor Programme.
"It's very hard to find donors that are mixed race," said Harf, who helped organize the drive. "You're looking for a genetic twin. It's like finding the needle in a haystack." She said it would take at least three weeks to find out if there were any matches from the drive.
I hope this talented young girl gets her match. I've known people for whom a bone marrow transplant really was an absolutely life-changing event, who are now free of cancer that otherwise would have killed them.