Montclair Family to Lobby Support for Bone Marrow Registry

On Thursday June 12, Montclair resident Jiro Okochi and his family, will lobby Congress in support of Be The Match, the National Marrow Donor Program.

U.S. Capitol. Photo Courtesy of Emily Singer.
U.S. Capitol. Photo Courtesy of Emily Singer.

Sometimes, love doesn’t conquer all.

Shortly after his birth, Jiro Okochi’s son Finn was diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome,  a rare immune deficiency disorder that predominantly affects males. When Okochi and his wife Kim were not a match to their son, they had to turn to Be The Match, the national bone marrow registry to find a suitable donor.

Okochi told The Montclair Times, "It’s all DNA and nothing to do with desire, hopes, or blood relations."

According to Be The Match, “7 out of 10, patients who need a transplant do not have a suitable donor in their family.”

This Thursday, Okochi and his family with attend a Legislation Day to share their story and emphasize the importance of Be The Match and the services they offer.

Be The Match’s budget was cut by $3 million due to “mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration,” meaning that thousands of potential donors and cord blood units will not be added to the registry.

Okochi became a donor himself and is now on the Be The Match Foundation Board of Directors.

To become part of the registry, a donor must give a cheek swab or a blood sample that will be tissue-typed and used to match with patient. If their DNA is a match, the actual donation process involves a surgical procedure that is done under general or regional anesthesia in a hospital.

For FAQ’s concerning bone marrow donation please vist: http://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-bone-marrow/donation-faqs/
Robin Hoffman June 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM
GO Finn! So happy you got your match and are helping others find theirs.


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