The Be the Match Registry is the world’s largest and most diverse donor registry.
Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/19/2019 --One of the first pediatric patients to receive a bone marrow transplant at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital returned to help caregivers celebrate a medical milestone -– 25 years of providing life-saving bone marrow transplants to children with cancer.
Ian Dahl, 32, of Sandy, joined Primary Children's at the hospital's first-ever "Be the Match" event to encourage marrow donations to help save the lives of other children. Hospital visitors and staff were invited to become potential donors on the national Be the Match Registry as a way to mark Primary Children's Bone Marrow Transplant Program's 25th anniversary.
"I'm very grateful I was able to grow up, marry, and be able to have children and have a healthy life because of a bone marrow transplant and a wonderful medical team," Dahl said. "I can't take that for granted because I know that was something I just wasn't supposed to get."
In 1994, Dahl was diagnosed with adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML). At the time, there was no standard treatment, and he was facing tough odds, including a survival rate as low as 15 percent and a lifetime of complications.
"My mom talks to me about how she immediately correlated that with being a death sentence for a child that young," Dahl recalls.
At the time, Dahl's doctors didn't have a robust national marrow registry to access a match for his bone marrow transplant, a treatment that was in its infancy at Primary Children's Hospital. While his father's bone marrow didn't meet all the qualifications, he was deemed Dahl's best possible match. Not only was Dahl's bone marrow transplant a success, but he has experienced none of the expected medical issues or complications.
A bone marrow transplant is a treatment for children with certain types of cancer and blood-related disorders. In the past 25 years, the Primary Children's Bone Marrow Transplant Program has performed more than 700 transplants and 16 CAR-T infusions, a groundbreaking genetics-based therapy, for patients from 13 states and four countries.
Primary Children's cancer program currently ranks among the top 30 programs in the country.
After donating marrow to his son, Dahl's father was inspired to become part of the bone marrow donor registry and became a donor to two other people.
The Be the Match Registry is the world's largest and most diverse donor registry. About one in every 430 registry members go on to donate to a patient. Potential bone marrow donors must meet age and health guidelines and be willing to donate to any patient in need. Donors between the ages of 18-44 are especially needed.
Potential donors interested in participating in the Primary Children's Be the Match event can visit join.bethematch.org/PCH25years for information and to request a cheek swab kit.
About Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital
Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City is a full-service children's hospital serving Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana and Alaska. Primary Children's is the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in the Intermountain West, and provides care for children with the most complex injury and illness, including those who require heart, liver, kidney and bone marrow transplants. The guiding philosophy at Primary Children's is The Child First and Always®. Primary Children's is part of Intermountain Healthcare, a nationally-recognized not-for-profit healthcare system based in Utah, and serves as the pediatric specialty teaching hospital for the University of Utah School of Medicine, combining research, training and excellent care to provide the best health care for children.