This fall, Lambda Phi Epsilon is sponsoring the Asians for Miracle Marrow Match bone marrow drive at UC Irvine. Bone marrow drives attempt to find donors for people with serious blood related disease, like leukemia, who need transplants to save their lives.
The AMMM is a non-profit organization that recruits volunteer bone marrow donors from local communities and gets them to join the National Marrow Donor Registry, a national database where people who are suffering from blood-related diseases and need a bone marrow donor can search for a potential bone marrow match. It is important to note that it is significantly harder to find marrow matches for minorities.
Currently, there are around 5 million donors on the registry, but only 30 percent are minorities, including Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians. Even more rare are those of mixed racial background.
‘The goal [of the event] is to educate and recruit more minority donors,’ said Enisha Narang, the South Asian outreach and recruitment coordinator for AMMM. ‘By giving a little of their time, [minority donors] could possibly give someone a second chance at life.’
The issue of the lack of minority bone marrow donation hit home last spring, when UCI senior Sagarika Savur was diagnosed with a form of leukemia just months before graduation and was forced to discontinue her education. She is still searching for a matching bone marrow donor and she has made it her goal to increase awareness and gain more donors for this cause.
Right now, AMMM is looking for committed minority marrow donors who will join the national registry. The initial process involves filling out a consent form and giving a small sample of blood from the finger. The blood is then typed and put on the database. AMMM is encouraging people who have already registered to update their addresses, but there is no need to reregister.
If you are interested in helping out this cause, please stop by Ring Road on Nov. 8 to 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, or visit the organizations Web site at: www.asianmarrow.org.