By ALISON BOWEN
Submitted by DKMS
Karen Leone is seen at her home on July 29, 2020, in Chicago. Leone donated her bone marrow in June to a 7-year-old boy with Hodgkin lymphoma. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Months passed and the pandemic began. And then Leone, a lawyer and co-founder of a tech startup, received a call that she was a match for a 7-year-old boy who has Hodgkin lymphoma. She was asked if she was still willing to be a donor.
“I said, absolutely,” she said.
More than 170,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with a blood cancer; it’s the second most common cause of death among all types of cancer. Only 30% of patients find a donor within their family.
People can register at DKMS.org to become a donor, which includes an eligibility and health screening, and a cheek swab. The need for African American donors is especially urgent. Sickle cell is most common among African Americans.
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