Be The Match Registry
Focused on Serving the Growing Number of Patients
The Be The Match Registry® is the world's largest and most diverse registry of potential marrow donors and donated umbilical cord blood units (CBUs), now with more than 19 million potential donors and more than 249,000 CBUs. Our partnerships with international and cooperative registries provide access to more than 30 million potential donors and more than 472,000 CBUs worldwide.
We are grateful and in awe of every person who steps forward to volunteer to donate to a stranger in need and to parents who generously donate their baby's umbilical cord blood. We can now find a match for 76-97% of patients (depending on ethnic background). However, we cannot slow down our efforts to find a matching donor or CBU for every patient, and to find the match faster.
Here are some of our many initiatives to help all patients get the life-saving transplant they need:
Targeted Recruitment of Younger DonorsWhile a close HLA match is still the most important factor for matching a donor and patient, research has also shown that younger donors provide better outcomes. Transplant physicians select a younger donor when possible — now more than 95% of the time. Because of this, we have further concentrated our resources on adding more 18-44 year olds to the registry. A person may be on the registry from ages 18 to 60. Those 18-44 may join the registry at no cost. Now, 87 percent of potential donors on the registry are younger than age 45. Individuals ages 45-60 who want to join the registry may do so by registering online and paying a $100 fee to cover the cost of typing and related expenses.
Be The Match On Campus is our national program that engages college-age students to hold recruitment drives and fundraising activities. Through social and digital media, we have built a large community following, driving people to join the registry and advocate for our cause.
Targeted Recruitment of Diverse PopulationsIncreasing the number of registry members from diverse ethnic populations is imperative so we can find a more matched donors and CBUs for people of color. Be The Match® currently offers recruitment materials in English and five additional languages. Examples of highly successful campaigns to increase the ethnic diversity of the registry include 2013 partnerships with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts and world-champion boxer Robert Guerrero, who are urging young people, especially people of color, to join the Be The Match Registry.
Increasing Donor Commitment and AvailabilityIncreasing the availability of donors who are called to donate is critical. We have an extensive registry communications program that focuses heavily on donor education and commitment. All new registry members receive welcome communications with a donor ID card, monthly e-newsletters, and annual recognition on their anniversary of joining or donating. In addition, we target communications to specific segments of the registry, such as those who have uncommon HLA types, younger donors, and people of color. We are implementing new tools for our donor contact representatives to use when speaking with donors to help address barriers to availability and donation. In addition, we are expanding our preliminary search donor contact processes, as data show that pre-screened donors are significantly more available.
Facilitating Recruitment of and Access to Cord Blood UnitsToday, 13% of our transplants use CBUs that have been donated to a public cord blood bank. Importantly, cord blood is expanding access to transplant for populations who have a more difficult time finding a matching adult donor. In 2017, 28% of people of color who received a transplant used cord blood. Be The Match supports public cord blood banks and Ob/Gyns across the United States to promote the need for CBUs and provides materials that answer questions about donating cord blood for women who are pregnant.
Help Us Build the Registry
We invite you to join in our effort to continue building the Be The Match Registry. On a personal level, you can make a difference, through bone marrow donation, giving a financial gift, or volunteering.
You never know when you or someone you know could be the cure or need a cure. Join the Be The Match Registry today.