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National Marrow Donor Program(R) Kicks off National Awareness Campaign
Date:5/5/2008

Drives across the country and online offer opportunity to save a life

MINNEAPOLIS, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- With the ambitious goal of adding 46,000 new members to the marrow Registry during the two weeks surrounding Mother's Day, Thanks Mom, the National Marrow Donor Program's largest annual awareness campaign, kicks off today.

For thousands of people with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases, a marrow transplant offers a second chance at life. Thanks Mom, which runs through May 19, urges people to join the Registry online or in person at drives across the country.

"The first thing we want to say to everyone who joins the Registry is 'thank you'," said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of the NMDP. "One person really can make a difference. This Mother's Day, what better way to say, 'Thanks Mom' for giving you life, than to share the gift of life with another? Every donor added to the Registry and every dollar given helps save a life."

The Thanks Mom campaign highlights dozens of searching patients nationwide -- all of whom have amazing stories of strength and survival. For example:

-- Matt and Alexandra Pearl (Mo.) are two young siblings with a

potentially fatal genetic disease called Fanconi anemia. This

Mother's Day, Matt and Alexandra will meet their donors -- two

mothers from different parts of the world who donated their marrow

to give the siblings another chance at life -- for the first time.

-- Blake LaForce (Ohio), a high school senior and star athlete, was

recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Blake's

energy and that of his teammates turned to finding a matching donor

for Blake so that he can go to college and live an active life.

-- Andrew Akin (Mo.) is a blue-eyed baby with a rare disorder of the

immune system known as hemophagocytic lymphohi
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SOURCE National Marrow Donor Program
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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