Science Scope

With new bandage kit, heal your cut -- and save a life

Posting in Cancer

New boxes of bandages from Help Remedies include bone marrow donor registry kits that make it much easier to sign up to be a donor.

Bone marrow transplant matches are exceedingly difficult to find. And matching for non-white Americans is practically impossible.

For instance, when social media entrepreneur Amit Gupta discovered he had leukemia in the fall, he also discovered that because there were so few South Asian potential donors in the nationwide Be the Match bone marrow donor registry his odds of finding a match were 1 in 20,000. (A massive social media campaign eventually turned up a match for Gupta.)

But a new bandage kit promises to improve those odds.

The kit, produced by Help Remedies includes a bone marrow donor registry kit. So next time you get a cut, you can also use your small misfortune to get registered and, if you are ever matched, help save a life.

The kit's inventor, Graham Douglas, told Fast Company, "You cut yourself when you’re cutting a bagel, reach for a box of bandages, and the first thing that comes out is the marrow registry kit. It takes a few seconds and a drop of blood."

All that you need to do is saturate the cotton swab tip with blood, and ship it off in the postage-paid envelope to DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow center, which is processing all the kits for free.

Douglas's identical twin brother was diagnosed with leukemia at 18, and though he was saved by a bone marrow transplant, Douglas was haunted by the general lack of donors. He hopes the kit increases the number of potential donors.

"People hear 'marrow’ and think they’re going to have to go through torture to sign up on the registry," Douglas told Fast Company. "We’re making an active behavior more passive. Hopefully, that’s the thing that will turn the tides."

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via: Fast Company

Laura Shin

Features Editor

Laura Shin has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, and is currently a contributor at Forbes. Previously, she worked at Newsweek, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and LearnVest. She holds degrees from Stanford University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure