According to the American Cancer Society, in 2018, there will be an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed.
Of that figure, an estimated 10,590 new cancer cases will be diagnosed among children 0 to 14 years of age. 70% of patients who need a bone marrow transplant rely on a complete stranger for a lifesaving donation, but black patients only have a 23% chance of finding a donor match. That’s why DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change, and Johnson & Johnson are teaming up with brother duo Ayo & Teo for “Give a Spit About Cancer,” an effort to get more young and diverse people to join the Be The Match Registry as potential bone marrow donors.
When it comes to needing a bone marrow transplant, white patients have a 77% chance of finding a matched donor, however black patients only have a 23% chance of finding a donor match. The goal of this year’s campaign is to get as many young people as possible to join the national bone marrow registry. The more diverse the registry, the more of an increase in potential donors there will be for all patients.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to join forces with Johnson & Johnson once again,” said Dezmon Gilmore, Head of PR & Talent Relations at DoSomething.org. “We’ve helped thousands of young people join the registry over the years, and we’re excited to engage even more to be lifesaving advocates in 2018.”
Since 2011, Give a Spit About Cancer has added 8,000 young people to the bone marrow registry through Be The Match. Of those, 50 have already gone on to give potentially life-saving donations to patients in need.
Brother duo Ayo & Teo, most known for their viral dance challenges and hit single “Rolex,” have helped raise awareness to young people through recording a PSA and encouraging their fans to complete the #SwabChallenge and get on the registry!
“We love engaging with our fans on social media, and we’ve seen how much they love competing in our dance challenges ,” said Ayo & Teo. “We’re excited to join forces with DoSomething.org and Johnson & Johnson for the #SwabChallenge, to get more young people aware of their power to defeat cancer.”
From March 27th until April 30th, young people can host their own bone marrow registration drives in their local communities, or on college campuses. People can register for the national bone marrow registry through Be The Match by filling out a 15 minute online form. From there it’s simple, Be The Match sends a swab kit. All you have to do is swab some spit from your cheek (following the detailed instructions and then mail it in with the prepaid envelope provided. From there, Be The Match will notify people if they are a potential match.
Another way to support the “Give a Spit About Cancer” campaign is by downloading the Donate a Photo app available on the iTunes App Store and in Google Play. For every photo taken in the app before May 27th, 2018, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to DoSomething.org to offset the costs associated with joining the Be The Match registry.
To participate in Give a Spit About Cancer, text SPIT to 38383 or visit DoSomething.org/spit.