COLLEGE STATION - There are more than 18,000 people waiting for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, something that could save their lives.
Despite the fact that there are 11-million people on the registry as available donors, only 40% of those in need will find a match.
That's because it's extremely difficult to match someone perfectly, and since it's done by DNA markers, the best chances come from someone in your same race and ethnicity group.
So while the odds are slim to begin with, the chance of finding a match for a minority is even smaller. Fewer minorities are signed up to be potential donors.
Lindsey Crawford, a local recruiter for the "Be the Match" foundation says, " African Americans make up about 10 percent of our registry, Hispanics about 6 percent and multi-racial only about 4 percent."
Most of the time, you won't have to actually donate bone marrow, it'll just be stem cells, which is a painless process similar to giving plasma. 20% of the time, actual bone marrow is needed, and that does require surgery, but you're given an anesthetic to ease the pain.
If you'd like to sign up to be a potential bone marrow or stem cell donor, you can visit www.bethematch.org.