The Caitlin Raymond International Registry (according to their website, http://www.crir.org), a pioneer in the establishment of procedures and practices for stem cell donor search, is the oldest coordinating center for bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell and placental cord unit search in the United States. Affiliations with 99 international registries and cord blood banks in 46 countries enables us to access nearly 8,000,000 donors and more than 260,000 cord blood units.
CRIR is a non profit organization of the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Massachusetts. CRIR was originally established in 1986 as a unit within the Division of Hematology-Oncology of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center specifically as a coordinating center for conducting national and international searches for unrelated donors. Today, an average of 600 patients each month are submitted for search by physicians from all over the world.
What the CRIR tries to do is find people that can help other people with the following conditions: Various types of chronic and acute leukemia, aplastic anemia, lymphoma, myeloma, radiation poisoning, and some genetic diseases can be treated by stem cell transplantation.
Registering to be a potential donor is easy and only requires a simple swab inside your mouth. I would register if I could, but the “rules” and guidelines won’t allow anyone who has ever had cancer donate (speaking of, thanks to Jess for this shirt…she’s the actual registered donor, not me!). And I guess I understand not wanting “cancer donors”, but if it came down to no match or a match from a cancer survivor, wouldn’t the patient rather get some sort of transplant?
Anyway, if you would like to see if you could help someone that needs a donor match, you can do so by going here: http://www.crir.org/registerdonor.php
Also, I am glad to say I know someone who has done this, was a perfect match for someone, and saved her life! Katie is one of the Holy Cross students that comes over every week to Hope Lodge. The story of her heroic story can be seen here: http://www.necn.com/pages/landing/?site_define_args_1=landing&site_define_args_2=&blockID=222063&feedID=4669 Way to go, Katie!