Myelodysplastic syndrome band in honor of Robin Roberts to help save lives

Robin Roberts on ?Good Morning America? after announcing Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” after announcing she has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone marrow disease formerly known as preleukemia. (June 11, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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As ABC's "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts prepares for her bone marrow transplant, fans can show their support by purchasing a "Prayer for Protection" wristband. Net proceeds will benefit Be The Match(R), the global leader in providing bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants to patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other serious diseases.

The multi-colored wristband carries Roberts' initials (RRR) and the words "Light, Love, Power, Presence", representing the Prayer for Protection that Roberts' mother taught her years ago.

The wristband was designed by friends of Roberts after she received her diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood disorder formerly known as pre-leukemia. On June 11, 2012, Roberts announced her diagnosis on national television, and that her best hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant from her sister, Sally-Ann. The bright spring colors of the bracelet symbolize the rebirth her bone marrow transplant will bring.

"Since my diagnosis, I've been focusing on the fight, not the fright," Roberts said. "I'm a thriver, not a survivor, and I hope everyone out there wears this bracelet in honor of the countless other thrivers around the world." Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 29, supporters can purchase packs of five wristbands for $5 at ShopBeTheMatch.org. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from each purchase at ShopBeTheMatch.org directly support the Be The Match mission to save lives.

"Robin is an example to everyone battling a life-threatening disease," said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of the National Marrow Donor Program(R) (NMDP), which operates Be The Match. "Robin is fighting her disease with grace, while helping raise awareness for Be The Match and the critical need for more bone marrow donors." News of Roberts' diagnosis triggered an outpouring of support from across the nation and around the world. Since Roberts' announcement three months ago, more than 36,000 people have joined the Be The Match Registry, greatly exceeding Be The Match's monthly average by more than 50 percent.

About Be The Match Be The Match helps patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can join the Be The Match Registry - the world's largest listing of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units - contribute financially and volunteer. Patients and their families can also turn to Be The Match for support and resources before, during and after transplant. Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved. For more information, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.

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