100 movers and shakers in Atlanta’s African American community came together for an important, and potentially life-saving panel, during the “Hip Hop & Health” event on Thursday, February 20. Hosted by BE The Match, a non-profit organization that helps fight blood cancers by matching marrow donors with patients, the event featured an informative panel to speak to the importance of BEcoming part of BE the Match in the African American community.
The panel included Shanti Das, former music executive and author of “The Hip Hop Professional; Dr. Leigh Willis, a BEhavioral scientist with the CDC; Dr. Willis Navarro, VP and Medical Director, Transplant Medical Services at BE the Match; and Daddy-O, the founder of hip-hop band Stetsasonic. Each spoke to different aspects of BE the Match and blood cancer in the African American community and the importance of spreading the word.
Why does this matter for the African American community? Here are some stats BElow:
- Patients are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity. Currently, the chances of finding a match on BE the Match is close to 93% for Caucasians, however as low as 66% for African Americans.
- African Americans’ generally have greater diversity in their tissue types than people of other heritage, making it even harder to find a matching donor.
- Fact vs. Fiction – most marrow donations are now done through a bone donation versus the spinal tap donation. This misinformation is one of the leading reasons why people don’t want to sign-up for the registry.
Event recap: the event was held in the W Atlanta-Midtown in the stunning Altitude Room that provides a view of Atlanta’s skyline. Guests enjoyed complimentary cocktails and bites plus copies of Shanti Das’ new book.
In an additional effort to drive traffic for the campaign, a social media campaign was setup using the hashtag #Essentials. For more information on this campaign, visit http://ouressentials.org