At Gift of Life we believe every person battling blood cancer deserves a second chance at life — and we are determined to make it happen. We are singularly passionate about engaging the public to help us get everyone involved in curing blood cancer, whether as a donor, a volunteer or a financial supporter. It all begins with one remarkable person, one life-changing swab and one huge win — finding a match and a cure.
It is said that saving one life is like saving the entire world. Diagnosed with leukemia in 1991, Jay Feinberg was told he would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. Thanks to the persistence of a loving family, tens of thousands of donors were tested at drives that spanned the globe, finding matches for hundreds of patients. Jay's donor turned out to be the very last person tested at the very last drive held during his search, and he received a successful transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Jay had no idea that his personal journey would result in the establishment of a grassroots organization that would transform the way patients find bone marrow donors, but that's precisely what happened. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary recruiting donors, Gift of Life has helped thousands of patients find their life-saving matches. Little did Jay's donor know that her single act of kindness would save more than one life on the day she saved Jay's, demonstrating the incredible power each of us have as individuals to change the world.
Did You Know...
- A patient is diagnosed with blood cancer every four minutes.
- The lifetime probability of receiving a stem cell transplant is one in just 200.
- Gift of Life is a public, not-for-profit marrow and blood stem cell donor registry facilitating transplants for patients throughout the United States and abroad.
- Tissue type is inherited, like eye or hair color. The best chance of finding a genetic match lies with those of similar race and ethnicity.
- Joining the registry involves a simple cheek swab.
- 80 percent of volunteers donate blood stem cells; 20 percent donate marrow (primarily for pediatric patients).
- Transplant physicians request donors age 18-45 more than 90 percent of the time for their patients.
- Be the Match and Gift of Life are associate registries that coordinate their activities to facilitate marrow and blood stem cell donations for transplants in the United States.
- Gift of Life is accredited by the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), the de-facto organization overseeing the international exchange of blood stem cells and promoting the interest of volunteer donors.
- Gift of Life makes its donors available globally via the Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW) database, a service of the WMDA.
- Gift of Life is a member of the European Marrow Donor Information System (EMDIS), an open worldwide communications network between registries for patients awaiting a transplant and lacking compatible family donors.