(Article by the Indy Star – Written by Shari Rudavsky)
First, Melanie Scott looked to her siblings to save her life.
Diagnosed with leukemia, Scott knew that a bone marrow transplant would be her best hope for a cure.
Four of her brothers and sisters were tested. When none proved to be a match, Scott turned to the bone marrow registry.
Had Scott, 31, been white, she would have had a 93 percent chance of locating a donor through the Be The Match Registry, with 10.5 million potential donors worldwide.
But because only about 7 percent of potential donors are African-American, Scott’s odds of finding a match dropped to 66 percent. And time was not on her side.
The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, however, was. Each day of the group’s annual convention in Indianapolis this week, it will have a bone marrow drive geared specifically toward African-Americans.
“The cure for blood cancer looks exactly like you,” read the fliers for the drive.
Scott’s chance for a cure, it turned out, was not to come from the conference. Two weeks ago, doctors at IU Health Simon Cancer Center performed a bone marrow transplant on her with blood from a newborn’s umbilical cord.
As Scott recuperates, a lengthy process that will keep her in the hospital for at least a month, the organization decided to go ahead with the drive.
“We’re still going to do it because it was her sickness that inspired the thoughts that we should do something like this,” said Crisette Ellis, an official with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, which had the idea for the drive. “I’m super-excited that she found a match, but I feel that there is somebody else that is praying for somebody to be a match for them.”
Scott, whose picture graces the flier advertising the drive, couldn’t be happier, says her father Dr. Leonard Scott, a dentist on the Eastside and a pastor at Rock Community Church.
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Bone Marrow Drive to be Held THIS WEEK at PAW Convention – INDY!
Drive will run from 5 to 7 p.m. daily July 28th – Aug. 3rd at the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Convention in the JW Marriott 10 S West St, Indianapolis, IN – Room 310. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 is eligible to donate.
If you can not attend, but still want to donate/participate, please do so via Mel’s team page at bethematch.org: http://www.
For more information on becoming a donor to help others in need in our community go to bethematch.org.
Follow Mel’s Comeback and Journey by checking out her blog at mel-strong.com.