Local Boys and Girls Clubs back Robin Roberts

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - When it comes to finding if you are a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant, it only takes a few seconds out of your life. It's a minute measurement of time that could possibly change someone else's life forever.

"Ultimately what we'd like people to understand is that you can really save a life. You very well maybe the only person in the whole world who could possibly save that life," Account Executive of Be the Match Mary LeSueur said.

The need is great for more registered donors. Only 30 percent of patients who need a bone marrow transplant have a matching donor in their families. Right now, only 2 percent of the population is on the national registry.

"The challenge those patients face is finding a genetically matched donor. The chances are very slim, but for every person we add, it's another chance for that person to find a donor," LeSueur said.

When Good Morning America Anchor Robin Roberts made the announcement that she would soon be in need a bone marrow transplant, the number of people registered almost doubled.

Adding to that movement, the Qatar Center kicked off a series of drives that will take place at Boys and Girls Clubs across the Gulf Coast.

"She's such a great role model on how to give back to your community and how no matter what your status is in life, you can always do something to give back. This community, especially our Boys and Girls Club can give back in just a small way for all the things her and her family have done for our club and for our children," Club Leader Mindy Pizetta said.

"It's unfortunate that Robin had the diagnosis that she did, but because of that, it's an awesome thing that she's using her voice to put a face and a name to it, bringing some awareness to the need for registered marrow donors," LeSueur said.

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