There are many misconceptions about being in the bone marrow registry. First of all, getting in the registry is as simple as doing a cheek swab. No needles, no blood, no drilling. "We've never drilled," said Paige Morrison, account executive with Be the Match. "If you are a match for someone, 75 percent of the time we take stem cells through two IV's in your arm, the other 25 percent of the time the marrow is taken from the soft bone in the back of your pelvic bone."
Being a match is rare. There are 10 million people in the registry and 10,000 people who need a match each year. Encinitas resident Kim McGrath has an 85 percent at find a match since she is caucasian, explained Morrison.
The 36-year-old wife of Supercross star Jeremy McGrath is currently undergoing chemotheraphy at UCSD for Leukemia Cutis, which is Leukemia of the skin. Just two years ago, Kim McGrath was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemo for that, too. Fifteen months later, she noticed splotches on her skin and learned she had leukemia.
Husband Jeremy McGrath asked his fans and friends to support him in his quest to help his wife find a bone marrow match. He's set up Be the Match registry events including one Wednesday at Transworld Media Skate Park in Carlsbad that included a raffle and auction.
"We got 275 new donors and raised $1660," said Morrison. Once you are in the registry you are in it till age 61. Morrison added, "It actually costs $100 per person to join the registry, but we don't charge anyone. That's why fundraising is so important, it offsets the costs."
Kim and Jeremy McGrath live Encinitas with their two daughters.
For more information on upcoming registry events or to donate go to: