OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more


Recent comments

(1) View all

We need to produce a "Good men" join the bone marrow registry campaign. I've organized over 545 bone marrow drives in just over four years registering over 38,200 people locating 67 matches. I was inspired by my son Giovanni. Giovanni became sick at just 6-weeks-old and by 5 months old doctors from Boston Children's told me he would die if he didn't get a bone marrow match before his first birthday. They added that his chances of finding a match were 1 in 20,000. No problem I told them, I'll just put 20k people in the registry. They looked at me like I was nuts, but I was a father who had heard the most horrifying thing in a lifetime. They told me my little baby was going to die. There was nothing I would not do to save my child including giving my own life. There was no match in the registry for Giovanni ... but he was lucky enough to get a cord blood donation that saved him. We need to build a bone marrow campaign based on inspirational stories that are sustainable. One is Giovanni's story and how he turned me into a bone marrow warrior but there are many others. See this link:

The problem with bone marrow donor centers is their operating strategy is based on fate. That is, when they are referred a patient they market a patient drive that compels people in the community of the child, sometimes statewide, rarely nationally, to register in hopes of saving that patient but that is not sustainable because the patient either goes in to remission, finds a match or dies and the movement with them.

NMDP has a few annual campaigns such as the Moms month, marketing campaigns in which celebrities endorse becoming a donor and their annual college football competition, a strategy I question with respect to its retention rate. Indeed, a competition is not an ideal inspiration upon which to base one's commitment to being a life saving bone marrow donor. Nor is one team competing with another to add more people.

Thus, the only strategy that is left to build a sustainable bone marrow movement is one that is built upon an inspirational story that is marketed around the country cultivating a platform that encourages others to join the registry to save a life and exposes this life saving movement to other organizations who then partner with the campaign to encourage its following to join the registry. It most become exponential.

It should be our objective to instill in all who are eligible to join the registry that there is nothing so noble in life then to save a life and being a registered bone marrow donor provides one with that ability with little or no discomfort. Indeed, being a match is so rare it is a blessing.