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Why Ethnicity Matters

Racial and ethnic heritage are very important factors for patients looking for a marrow match. Because Cristina is of Italian descent her match will most likely come from someone who is also of Italian ethnicity.

Marrow matches are different than matching blood. Instead of a blood match, doctors are looking for a DNA match. Specifically, doctors are looking for what they call an HLA (HumanLeukocyte Antigens), HLA are proteins located on the surface of white blood cells and other tissues in the body.

The highest likelihood of finding a match is within the same ethnic group which is why donor drives are often specific to a patient's ethnic background.

But, occasionally there will be a match between different ethnicities which is why we'd like to encourage people to join their registry no matter what their ethnic background.

On the One Match website HLA matching is described this way:

"What do you mean by a "match"?

Donors and patients are matched according to the compatibility of inherited genetic markers called Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA). These antigens are inherited from your parents. Up to 12 antigens are considered important in the matching process."

On the Be The Match Website HLA matching is described this way:

"Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing is used to match patients and donors for bone marrow or cord blood transplants (also called BMT). HLA are proteins — or markers — found on most cells in your body. Your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not.

A close match between your (the patient's) HLA markers and your donor's can reduce the risk that your immune cells will attack your donor's cells or that your donor's immune cells will attack your body after the transplant. "

Helping Cristina Flyers

Please help us spread the word by using this printable (high resolution) PDF flyer and printable sheet of tear away tabs to attach to the flyer.

CLICK HERE to Print the Flyer

CLICK HERE to Print the Tabs

Print and hang them anywhere you know of a public bulletin board like the:

  • Grocery Store
  • Office
  • Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Cafeterias
  • Coffee Shops
  • Church
Sample Donor Drive Flyer
How You Can Help Cristina
  1. Join Canada's www.OneMatch.ca
  2. Join the United States' www.BeTheMatch.com
  3. Join Italy's Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
  4. Click here for more registries worldwide.
  5. Ask others to join their local registries by word of mouth, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or blogging.
  6. Like Cristina's Facebook Page for updates.
  7. Follow her on Twitter and tweet #HopeForCristina
  8. Print Cristina's flyers and hang them where you work, shop, etc.

Print a Flyer

Please Share This Website:

In Canada please join One Match

One Match

Click Here to learn how to join the registry
or help spread the word to help Cristina.


Age requirements:
17 to 50 years to join

Registering is pain free, done with a cotton swab.

In the United States please join Be The Match
Be The Match

Join www.BeTheMatch.com and/or Host a drive in the US to help Cristina and the other 6000 US patients in need.

Join Now Online
by ordering a test kit

Join in Person
at a live donor drive

Age requirements:
18 to 60 years to join

Registering is pain free, done with a cotton swab.

In Italy please join the IBMDR


Italian Bone Marrow
Donor Registry

Age requirements:
18-55 years to join

Registering is pain free, done with a cotton swab.

Press and Publicity

Aiutateci, a Cristina serve un trapianto - Corriere.com


•  Social media used to find bone marrow donor - Global News (Video)

Woodbridge family uses social media in search for transplant - CBC News

Family using social media to find bone marrow match (News Video) - CityNews Toronto

Woman with rare disease needs bone morrow donor - Healthzone.ca

• Are you of Italian ancestry or know someone who is? - TheFlirtyBlog.com

Woman needs life-saving match - www.mississauga.com

Home   |   About Cristina   |   What is MNGIE?   |   Marrow Donation  |   How to Register   |   Ethnicity Matters   |   FAQ   |   Press    |   Contact   |   Blog
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