Devan is a beautiful, brave four-year-old boy who needs your help. At 20-months-old Devan was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. His parents Indira and Dermot were devastated that their only child was so sick, but determined to beat his cancer. After initial treatment, his cancer went into remission. However, it's back and he - and millions of other cancer patients - need your help. It's at times like this that I am fortunate to be part of an organization that reaches so many people worldwide. I hope that by spreading the word about Devan his story will touch you, and you will take action.
What Devan needs most now is a bone marrow transplant. So far, a match has not been found. Every year 15,000 people with diseases like leukemia and lymphoma need bone marrow transplants. But like many other patients on this list, Devan is from a mixed ethnic background - his mother is half-Indian and his father is Irish - and finding a match has proved to be difficult. Now, their best hope is umbilical cord blood donation. This painless and risk-free procedure is performed at the time of your baby's birth. Most cord blood is discarded because cord blood banking can be expensive and parents don't know the gift that they could be giving to someone else. Additionally, only 3% of U.S. hospitals are part of the public cord blood registry.
Here is the amazing part of how easy it is to help Devan and thousands of people like him: it's absolutely free. Unlike personal cord blood banking which can cost hundreds of dollars, there is no cost to receive a collection kit, to have it shipped to you, or to ship it back to the Cord Blood Bank. Nothing at all. Not one cent. First thing you need to do is check if your hospital is already part of the public cord bank. You can do that here: marrow.org. If your hospital is not part on the list, call Yvonne Freudenberg at The Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at 919-668-1102 to request a free cord blood donation kit. You must register before the 34th week of your single, uncomplicated pregnancy. If you'd like to learn more about how to help Devan, visit matchdevan.com. Every day we each have a chance to do good. This is yours.
More ways to help Devan:
- To donate financially to the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank: MatchDevan Fund
- Find a cord blood bank outside the US: Bone Marrow Donor Worldwide
- If you cannot find an international blood bank, you may contact Leslie Kenny at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you locate the nearest one.
- Register to be a bone marrow donor: Be Devan's Match
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.