PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of anxious people out there because of the coronavirus pandemic. Contributing to some people’s anxiety is the concern that COVID-19 will stop people from signing up for an important registry that could save someone’s life.
“We’ve had to cancel over 150 live events, in-person drives, so that could have been thousands of people joining the registry,” said Breanna Amborn, with National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match.
With more and more people following CDC guidelines, bone marrow transplant volunteers are drying up as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States.
“If people aren’t signing up and joining the National Marrow Donor Program, they’re just losing precious time,” Amborn said. “I’m working with a patient right now from Abington, Pennsylvania, named Juwan and every single day he doesn’t have a donor, he is losing time.”
CBS3 interviewed Juwan Adams back in January when he got a shoutout from Sixer Matisse Thybulle.
Unfortunately, Juwan hasn’t been feeling well and was not able to be interviewed Wednesday afternoon. He even missed his chemotherapy session.
It’s people like Juwan whose lives could be inadvertently lost as a result of COVID-19.
“We really need everyone in the community to share online, to tell their friends, anyone they know between the ages of 18 and 44. Especially for patients like Juwan,” Amborn said. “He’s most likely going to find a match within the African American community.”
And it’s not just the bone marrow transplant volunteers.
The American Red Cross says there’s currently a severe blood shortage.
“In our region alone, we have had 207 blood drives canceled and a total of 7,000 donations lost,” American Red Cross communications manager Alana Maguer said.
As it stands, hospitals have less than a one-day supply of blood.
The American Red Cross and Be The Match are hoping you can help change that, to save lives.
You can become a bone marrow transplant donor or find a blood drive near you by clicking here. You can text “PhillySwabs” to 61474 to become a bone marrow donor.