Authored by Kevin Campbell, Senior Director of Hematology and Transplant, Sanofi Genzyme
On October 1, my Sanofi Genzyme colleagues and I took part in the Be The Match® Walk/Run in New York City. We were there, with hundreds of others, to support the Be the Match mission to bring more people into the organization’s bone marrow donor registry and as a result connect patients with their donor match for a life-saving stem cell transplant.
This year, our team walked in honor of Hanna Morrill, the daughter of my colleague Brian Morrill, a member of our Global Sanofi organization. Hanna recently celebrated her one-year anniversary following her stem cell transplant, and it was great to see her there with her entire family including her brother who was the donor of the stem cells for her transplant. Hanna was fortunate to have a sibling who is a match. However, many people are not as fortunate, and it’s important to continue to add to the registry with regards to pure numbers as well as racial diversity.
Did you know that every three minutes someone in the country is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia, and the only hope for many of them is a stem cell transplant? Most people don’t realize that even though the process is often still referred to as a stem cell donation, these days the most common donation method is a non-surgical procedure called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation. You can read more about how your stem cells could be matched to another person here.
I’m proud that Sanofi Genzyme is a long-time National Marrow Donor Program supporter. In fact, just last month, we hosted a Be the Match marrow donor registry drive at our Bridgewater, NJ location. Employees learned about bone marrow donations and how simple it is to join the registry – it involves only a swab of the inside of your cheek. To date, more than 300 Sanofi employees have joined the registry.
When you think about Hanna and others like her, you realize that what we do every day really does make a difference. That’s why we will continue to support the Be the Match mission – there’s still a lot of important work to be done.