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Posted July 13, 2006


Joana Ramos, MAVIN Foundation Project Manager


Read original article here.

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing the July 9 article on the great need for bone marrow donors of diverse genetic heritages. We were pleased to be able to assist Andrew Chung with his report. We would like to take this opportunity to offer some clarification on the issues and share information about MAVIN Foundation.

The primary issue is that many more donors of mixed heritage and other racial/ethnic groups currently under-represented in existing bone marrow donor registries are urgently needed. Today approximately only 25% of the +6 million US donors listed in the National Marrow Donor Program's® registry are racial minorities, with mixed race people representing a mere 2% of the total. With the rapid growth and increasing diversity of the mixed heritage community, it is clear that more diverse donors need to be recruited for donor registries, in both Canada and the USA, as well as on a worldwide basis.

However, the problem will not be solved just by creating a separate registry of mixed heritage donors. What does work to increase the numbers of diverse donors is the targeted recruitment of people of specific heritages by organizations with the cultural and/or language language skills and sensitivity necessary to connect with any given group. It is also important that many more programs be developed to collect donations of umbilical cord blood from newborn babies, as it contains younger blood cells that are easier to match to a wider range of patients.

MAVIN Foundation is a nonprofit organization that builds healthy communities that celebrate and empower mixed heritage individuals and families, and its MatchMaker Bone Marrow Donor Project is the only program in North America dedicated to recruiting bone marrow donors of mixed heritages. To learn more about our work, please visit our website at

Canadians can register with the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry of Canadian Blood Services. For more information see the listing of provincial addresses & contacts on the CBS website.


Anne Katahira-Sims, Executive Director
Joana Ramos, MSW, Project Manager
MAVIN Foundation

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Looking back at eight remarkable years!

Matt Kelley founded MAVIN magazine as a 19-year-old freshman at Wesleyan Univ.

MAVIN's premier issue hit newsstands on Jan. 29, 1999.

In 2000, MAVIN magazine became the nonprofit MAVIN Foundation.

Recently, Kelley focused his efforts on advocating on behalf of policy issues.

In 2005, MAVIN sent five 20-somethings on a 10,000-mile trek to raise awareness of multiracial issues.