Organ And Bone Marrow Donation: Troubling Statistics Prove Difficulty Of Saving Lives

04/23/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A recent surge in online campaigns for organ and bone marrow donors highlights the need for increased registry in the U.S. and abroad. According the U.S. House of Representatives, around 16 people die every day because they failed to receive a needed organ transplant. These deaths occur despite the 5,000+ people who die every year who could have been organ donors, but aren't.

While bone marrow donation is less invasive than surgical organ removal, leukemia patients often have a difficult time finding matches, based on genetic restrictions.

One recent campaign featured Seun Adebiyi, a Nigerian-born Olympic Hopeful, who wrote on The Huffington Post about his wait for a bone marrow transplant. His online campaign sought to sign up as many people as possible through DKMS Americas, a bone marrow donor center. As Adebiyi points out, many in need do not receive donations because of the scarcity of minority donors.

Another online campaign, Hope For Natalie, exemplifies this issue. Eight-year-old Natalie has leukemia, and is most likely to find a donor of Asian descent.

As of this writing, there are over 105,000 people in need waiting for an organ donation. Actively helping save lives is as easy as becoming a donor or entering yourself into the bone marrow registry.

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