On March 11th, There Goes My Hero hosted what would be our last in-person bone marrow registry drive before the global pandemic hit. Since then, we have continued our mission by hosting over a dozen virtual bone marrow drives. This allows us to continue adding potential life-savers to the registry, but our virtual impact is nowhere near as impactful as our in-person drives.
From January to September 2019, we hosted over 50 bone marrow drives, which resulted in 758 potential donors added to the registry. During the same time period of 2020, TGHM has only hosted 27 bone marrow drives, resulting in 80 new potential donors.
That is why all of us at TGMH are so excited and honored to join our partner, DKMS, on their two new initiatives: 10 For 10 Million More and our NEW drive-up bone marrow registry drives, which allows for contactless swabbing.
10 For 10 Million More
This year, DKMS launched a campaign called 10 Million More to celebrate registering 10 million donors and in hopes of keeping that momentum.
The 10 For 10 Million More initiative challenges individuals to register 10 people in one week. This allows them to either meet up with small groups or go directly to family members, friends, or classmates to complete the registration.
Each box of supplies will have a printed sheet of initiator instructions and the desired number of clear totes containing enough for 10 registrations. Each tote will have a sheet of registration instructions for the volunteer, 10 pens, 10 stickers, and 10 registration packets. Each packet contains a form, swab, and envelope and the get ready to register sign is printed on the back of the packet. There is also a landing page that leads to frequently asked questions, ancestry documents, and medical guidelines.
The registration and swabbing process is similar but there will be a few differences to make the process “contactless.”
At the end of the week, the initiator mails the kits back to DKMS.
If you would like to host your own 10 For 10 Million More bone marrow registry, please let us know. We are more than happy to answer any and all questions about this contactless and safe way to save lives!
Drive-Up Bone Marrow Registry Drive
In addition to in-person drives, There Goes My Hero is also able to host drive-up bone marrow registry drives for blood cancer patients in need.
On September 16th, we hosted a drive-up event at the offices of Devaney and Associates in Owings Mills in honor of Emma Hall. Emma was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in early 2019 and the only cure for her disease is to receive a stem cell transplant from a matching donor. With no matching donors in her adopted family, Emma is relying on the bone marrow registry to save her life.
Every year, 17,500 patients just like Emma will need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant to cure their blood cancer or disorder. This includes diseases like Sickle Cell Anemia and Multiple Myeloma, which disproportionately affect the African American community. However, because the registry lacks diversity, a majority of patients from African, Latin, and Asian descent have a harder time finding a matching donor.
TGMH are committed to creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone, including staff, volunteers, and swabbers. In addition to COVID safety measures and social distancing regulations, our drive-up bone marrow registry drive will be completely contactless and safe.
If you would like to learn more about hosting your own 10 For 10 Million More or drive-up bone marrow registry drive, about diversity on the bone marrow registry, or would like to join the registry, please contact There Goes My Hero at 443-339-4375 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.