SOURCE: DKMS Americas

DKMS Americas

March 03, 2009 10:09 ET

DKMS and Ohio University Enlist More Than 2,400 Bone Marrow Donors in a Few Hours

World Record Broken as Eager Students Get Swabbed to Save Lives

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - On Wednesday, February 25th, DKMS and Ohio University held the biggest donor drive ever in the United States, registering more than 2,400 life-saving bone marrow donors in less than 24 hours, setting a new world record.

The Guinness Book of World Records' official bone marrow donor drive record involved 277 registrants in Austria. Last month, DKMS held donor drives in New York and New Jersey surpassing that number with more than 1,000 registrants each, but they have not yet been documented by Guinness.

Erica Cohen, a student at Ohio University and the driving force behind the successful donor drive, contacted DKMS immediately after learning about 16-year-old leukemia patient Amy Katz, who is in need of a bone marrow transplant. She wanted to help and bring the search for a donor to Ohio University by organizing a bone marrow donor drive.

The drive, called "Got Swabbed?," exceeded the expectations of DKMS, Erica and her group of more than 30 volunteers who set a target of 1,300 donors. More than 10% of the student body registered as bone marrow donors.

"I have never seen such an outpouring of support and solidarity from the Ohio University community," said Erica Cohen. "Tallying the final numbers at our drive was one of the happiest moments of my life. I know that from the hard work and dedication put into this drive, many lives will be saved. And for that, I could not be prouder."

Every day more than 6,000 men, women and children search the National Bone Marrow Registry for a life-saving bone marrow donor. The chances of a patient finding a match is very hard because they are basically looking for their genetic twin. The more people who register, the more hope there is for patients.

"It was through the support and collaboration of Erica and her team of volunteers that made this drive a huge success," said Amanda Nable, DKMS Donor Recruitment. "The student community really stepped forward to help save lives, and we at DKMS are so thankful."

DKMS hopes that more students will be driven to organize bone marrow donor drives on their campuses and encourage their peers to Get Swabbed.

Registering to become a bone marrow donor is easy and only takes minutes. Understand your commitment, find out if you are eligible to register and learn about the donation process. Then register on-line.

As a non-profit organization, DKMS relies on the generosity of individuals to help finance the $65 cost DKMS pays to tissue type each donor who registers. 100% of your donation will be used to register donors. Donate today!

About DKMS

DKMS was founded in Germany in 1991 by Peter Harf and Professor Dr. Gerhard Ehninger, after Peter lost his wife, Mechtild, to acute leukemia. Today, DKMS is the world's largest and most successful bone marrow donor center with over 1.8 million registered donors. Since its founding, DKMS has facilitated more than 16,000 transplants.

The mission of DKMS is to give every blood cancer patient a second chance at life. We work with patients and their families to organize bone marrow donors drive to recruit donors from every race and ethnicity. We inspire hope and healing by matching our donors with patients around the world in need of a bone marrow transplant.

DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.

For more information about DKMS and to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, please visit www.dkmsamericas.org

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