Gary Brackett's Drive for Life

Gary Brackett's Drive for Life Hopes to Increase Numbers to Bone Marrow Registry IU Health covers the cost of getting thousands into "Be The Match" Registry during Dec. 17 event

INDIANAPOLIS—With more than 112,000 candidates on the national transplant waiting list, it would seem that 9 million bone marrow donors on the Be The Match Registry would be more than enough to ensure finding a perfect match. But for the thousands of transplant patients with a variety of blood, bone marrow or immune system disorders who are waiting for their match, it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Indianapolis Colts Linebacker Gary Brackett knows far too well how important it is to have millions on the registry. He was a bone marrow donor for his brother, Greg, who lost his two-year battle with leukemia in 2005. That's why Brackett and his IMPACT Foundation started the Gary Brackett's Drive for Life: Continuing the Legacy of Tyler Genneken. Brackett calls out to all Hoosiers to be part of the bone marrow registry event on December 17, when they can join the Be The Match Registry in person or online and increase the odds of finding a match for every patient in need of a lifesaving transplant.* *

*                            Gary Brackett's Drive for Life: Continuing the Legacy of Tyler Genneken*
            Presented through a Partnership of Indiana University Health and the Indianapolis Colts

                                            Saturday, December 17, 2011
                                                      9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
            IU Health Methodist Hospital, Noyes Pavilion, 1800 N. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis
                         IU Health North Hospital, 11700 N. Meridian Street, Carmel
                                             Free parking at both locations

Joining the Be The Match Registry is easy and takes only 30 minutes. After completing a health history form, the inside cheek is swabbed. There are no other steps until a donor may be called and asked to take the final step of donation for a matching patient in need of a transplant. Anyone 18-60 years old, in good health and willing to donate to someone in need is eligible to join the registry.

Because 70 percent of people who need a transplant do not match a family member and up to 34 percent of those who turn to the registry don't find a match, growing the registry is critical. Many patients die waiting for a match because that special person has not registered. Because the match is based on a person's genetic makeup and follows cultural lines, minority patients in need of a transplant are even less likely to find a match. Of the millions of donors registered
with the National Marrow Donor Program, only 8 percent are African American and 10 percent Hispanic or Latino.

Quick Facts

  •  At any given moment, more than 3,000 people are searching the bone marrow registry   for a lifesaving match.
  •  In Indiana, more than 46,000 residents are on the registry.
  •  Do to the low number of minorities on the registry, Hispanics have only a 72 percent chance of ever finding a bone marrow donor and African Americans only 66 percent – compared to a 93 percent likelihood for Caucasians.

A common barrier to growing the registry is the cost of genetically matching donors with patients in need. During Drive for Life, all those who sign up for the "Be The Match" Registry will have the $100 expense funded by the generosity of IU Health. There will be no cost to the donor.

Gary Brackett's Drive for Life: Continuing the Legacy of Tyler Genneken is a one-day annual event held in recognition of 14-year-old Tyler Genneken who died in November 2009 of leukemia when a bone marrow match could not be found.
Through Tyler's efforts during his illness, more than 2,000 people joined the bone marrow registry in Tyler's name and at least 10 have become a lifesaving match for patients in need.

For more information, to make a financial contribution, or to join the Be The Match Registry online, go to indianablood.org/DriveForLife. With registry questions, call Indiana Blood Center at 317-916-5112. Indiana Blood Center coordinates the Be The Match Registry in Indiana.

About Be The Match
Be The Match is a growing community of people inspired to help patients who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), a leader in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation, created Be The Match to provide opportunities for the public to become involved in saving the lives of people with leukemia, lymphoma and other lifethreatening diseases. Indiana Blood Center coordinates the Be The Match Registry in Indiana, recruiting new members and supporting Hoosiers who are a match throughout the donation process. Visit indianablood.org/bethematch for more information.

About Indiana University Health
Named among the "Best Hospitals in America" by U.S. News & World Report for 14 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University
School of Medicine – one of the nation's leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Discover the strength at iuhealth.org.

About Gary Brackett's IMPACT Foundation
The mission of Gary Brackett's IMPACT Foundation is to promote health, to advance education, and to relieve the poor, distressed and underprivileged by providing resources and opportunities to children, including children who are mentally challenged, physically challenged, socially disadvantaged, or economically disadvantaged. Since 2007, Gary Brackett's charitable efforts have impacted the lives of over 30,000 Indiana residents. For more information, please visit www.garybrackett.org.

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