Dr. Jelena Stojakovic is a young woman who is fighting for her life. She came to the US to complete her post-graduate studies and she teaches at North Carolina University. Unfortunately Jelena recently got ill with leukemia and her only chance of beating this terrible disease is to receive a stem cell transplant (known as bone marrow transplant).
In the USA, the search for a donor is most effective if it is done through the organization National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which holds the central database of all people who have registered across the country. The odds of finding a matched donor are small, but are best when the search is done across a population that has a similar ethnic background with the patient. So far, Doctors caring for Jelena have not found a matching donor.
The registration process is relatively simple and is free of charge. Log on the NMDP website http://www.marrow.org/ and register for testing (you will be asked to enter basic personal information). Several weeks later, you will received by mail a kit which will include all the necessary material for you to take a mouth-swab, which you will mail back. Following preliminary testing (low-resolution HLA typing), your data will be entered in the NMDP database and will be available to any physician across America. If you turn out to be a potential donor for Jelena, or any other patient in the US, you will be asked to give a blood sample for further testing (high-resolution HLA typing). If you match Jelena or anyone else, the process involves the collection of stem cells from blood (rarely from the bone marrow), usually in one time. Even if you are a match, you always have the opportunity to change your mind and withdraw your name from the NMDP database. It is important that you think well before you register to the NMDP, because a late change of mind could have potential life threatening consequences for the patient.
With this letter I am asking you to consider registering on the NMDP database http://www.marrow.org/. You may be given the privilege of saving Jelena¹s or someone else¹s life.
If you have any questions (medical or technical in nature), please do not hesitate to contact me at 301-642-8797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance,
Dr. Ivan Aksentijevich