MKA Partners with Be the Match

Be the Match is the national leader in finding donors for patients afflicted with blood cancers and other serious diseases, and Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya USA is excited to partner with them to increase the number of people in the registry. 

We are asking members of MKA USA to sign up and commit to being life-saving donors! 

Why should I sign up?

The sanctity of life, sacrifice, and service to mankind are all fundamental teachings in Islam. They help earn us the love of our Creator, Allah the Almighty. The Holy Qur’an teaches, “…Whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind” (5:33).

7/10 patients needing a blood stem cell transplant won’t find a fully matched donor in their family

Many life-threatening diseases require that patients receive a transplant of someone else’s blood-forming cells. There must be a high degree of genetic similarity between the cells of a donor and patient, so it can be difficult to find an appropriate match.

In fact, 7 out of 10 of patients will not be able to find a fully matched donor within their family, so they have to look to the registry.

There is a 29-79% chance that a patient will find a donor; this wide range is based on ethnicity

Currently, there is a 29-79% match that a patient will find a donor; this range is based on the patient’s ethnic background. There is a large need for increased ethnic diversity of the registry.

MKA USA hosts a diverse body with Khuddam of all backgrounds. The South Asian population, which comprises the largest portion of MKA, is one of the lowest represented ethnicities in Be the Match’s registry.

Donors in the 18-35 age group are requested 75% of the time

Lastly, doctors request donors who are in the 18-35 age group 75% of the time. Research shows that cells from younger donors lead to better long-term survival for patients after transplant.

All these reasons make it so important that as many able Khuddam sign up for the registry and, maybe one day inshAllah, save someone’s life.

How can I help?

To sign up, you simply need to fill out the form. A cheek swab kit will be sent to you, and you’ll simply swab your cheek and send the sample back.

The likelihood of matching to a patient is actually fairly low. If you are matched to a patient and you agree to donate, you would go through a series of steps that would take 20-30 hours over a period of 4-6 weeks. Absolutely, all your expenses would be covered, including medical-related expenses, wages from potentially missed work, and travel (since some donors need to travel in order to make their donation).

What is the procedure like?

  • About 80% of matched donors will do a peripheral blood stem cell donation (PBSC) while 20% will do a bone marrow transplant.
  • Watch the following video to see what it looks like!

Are there any side effects?

Although there can be some temporary side effects just like with any medical procedure, more than 99% of donors will recover fully. The median time for full recovery from any side effects (like muscle aches or headaches) is 1 week for PBSC donors and 20 days for bone marrow donors.

From being matched to a donor to what the donation procedure looks like, read more about the process here.