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MDS - Myelodysplastic Syndrome, known as a precursor to leukemia, is the name of a group of disorders that affect stem cells in the bone marrow. With this type of disease, blood cells are not produced effectively and a patient’s blood counts drop as the bone marrow becomes unable to produce new cells.
Patients with MDS develop severe anemia and dangerously low platelets which require transfusions. They also are very prone to life-threatening infections. Bone marrow or stem cell transplants are the most effective treatment for MDS.
Spreading awareness of MDS will hopefully lead to increased awareness of people registering as potential bone marrow donors. With her own diagnosis of MDS following treatment for breast cancer, Robin Roberts of Good
morning America is spreading much-needed awareness. In her case, her sister is a match for her transplant, but many aren’t lucky enough to have a family member be a donor. While donating bone marrow used to be a complicated and painful task, advances in medical technology now make it not much different than donating blood.
Robin Roberts Wristbands:
Friends and family of Robin Roberts created wristbands to show support for her and raise awareness of MDS and bone marrow donation. People can purchase "Light Love Power Presence" wristbands through the bone marrow registry organization "Be the Match". Since Be the Match started in 1987, it has matched more than 50,000 people for life-saving transplants. Today, it facilitates more than 5,500 transplants each year. The Be The Match Registry has grown to more than 10 million donors and nearly 165,000 umbilical cord blood units, the largest and most ethnically diverse registry of its kind in the world.
To purchase Robin Roberts bracelets please visit: [ marrow.org/Home.aspx
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