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Dr. Robert Graves and his daughter, Laura Graves

The idea of what would become Be The Match (now NMDP) started in Northern Colorado, with Dr. Robert Graves (Graduate of CSU Veterinarian Medicine, 1956 and father of Morning Fresh owner Rob Graves), who was searching for a match for his 10 year old daughter, Laura.

Laura had leukemia, and one of her best prospects for survival was receiving a bone marrow transplant from someone with the same HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) as hers. Unfortunately, none of Laura’s siblings were a suitable match, so Dr. Graves had the idea of finding a match from the medical and blood banking community who gave a blood sample in the hope of matching Laura. Miraculously, a match was found, and Laura received her transplant from a nonrelated donor, surviving for another 18 months. Laura was the first person in the world with leukemia to receive a bone marrow transplant from a nonrelated donor and proved it to be successful. The efforts of Robert and Sherry Graves, and many others since have impacted over 130,000 lives, through NMDP.

Dr. Graves proved that a total stranger could provide a patient with a bone marrow transplant, and in 1987 the National Marrow Donor Program (today called NMDP) was created with funding by Congress and the Navy.

Currently, NMDP facilitates over 7,000 transplants each year to patients needing what is potentially their only lifesaving cure. You could be the next donor to save a life, so please consider joining today.

NMDP Registry

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