Cancer survivor tells why diverse donor registries are vital

July 15, 2019

Cancer survivor tells why diverse donor registries are vital

When the chance of treating cancer through a bone marrow transplant relies on strangers, it can be scary. According to Be the Match, Caucasians have a 77 percent chance of finding a match through the registry, but African Americans have only a 23 percent likelihood. 

That's why Alexes Harris, UW professor of sociology, is sharing her story. As a person of color diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, she couldn't find a match for a bone marrow transplant. In the end, Harris was saved by a cord blood transplant.

Dr. Mary-Beth Percival, professor of medicine, Division of Hematology and a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance physician, also explains why a diverse registry is important.

To learn more about joining the national registry, visit

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