Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and NMDP/Be The Match have launched the “American Symphony: Become a Lifesaver” campaign to increase the number of blood stem cell and marrow donors in the national registry. The campaign aims to improve access to blood stem cell transplants, especially for people in ethnically diverse communities. The campaign is inspired by filmmaker Matthew Heineman’s documentary “American Symphony,” which follows musician Jon Batiste as he prepares for a Carnegie Hall composition while his wife, Suleika Jaouad, undergoes a second bone marrow transplant at MSK.
The campaign encourages people to sign up for the NMDP/Be The Match Registry as potential donors, spread the word on social media or in their community, or give a monetary gift to help with patient assistance grants. The campaign will conclude on March 8, 2024, marking 100 days after the launch date.
Every year, 12,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers or other diseases, for which a blood stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor may be their best or only hope for survival. Approximately 70% of patients who need a transplant do not have a fully matched donor in their family, highlighting the urgent need to bridge the donor gap.
MSK has been a leader in stem cell transplantation for over five decades and has performed more than 10,000 transplants, making it the largest and most experienced bone marrow transplant program in the New York metropolitan area. NMDP/Be The Match has operated the world’s most diverse blood stem cell registry for over 35 years, uniting adult donors prepared to donate to strangers in need. Both organizations aim to provide equitable access to lifesaving transplants and improve patient outcomes.
For more information about the campaign or to get involved, visit the campaign’s website at JoinTheSymphony.org, where individuals can register to become potential donors, give a gift to support patient assistance, or help spread the word. The documentary “American Symphony” can be viewed on Netflix.