Multiracial health issues Part 1

I used to work for a stem cell bank. Yep, we collected, stored and released the cells that are the root of the human blood and immune systems. It was cool because using stem cells to treat diseases works. Not just in the lab. Not just in Germany or China. Here and now, stem cells are saving lives. Like I said, cool.

But here's the thing, if you're mixed, like me, and you have a health issue that could be treated with stem cells, you're probably screwed. And by screwed, I mean, get your affairs in order because the odds of finding a match are slim. Unless, of course, you have full-blooded siblings who are your exact same mixture. Then, you're in the double-digit percentile of finding a match. Phew!

Without those potentially matching siblings, your odds go up and down, based on how common your mixture is. For example, if you're "mixed" German and Irish (I'm being nice; everyone's heritage is sacred, even if it's ordinary). In America, the banks have LOTS of German-Irish stem cells. It's another one of the upsides of being part of the White majority. Yay!

But, maybe you're mixture is Ugandan and Irish. Like I said, screwed. Because, really, think about it. How many Ugandan-Irish people have you met? If you're answer is more than one, please, tell me: Are you part of some secret enclave of Irish-Ugandans? Where is this Oz-like land? And where are you storing your babies' stem cells?

The solution, going forward, is for every expecting parent to save their future child's stem cells. Your little Norwegian-Egyptian baby's stem cells could save a life in the future. And, if they don't get to save a life, they might be able to regrow your baby's own damaged cartilage. Knowing that you have those stem cells stored could ease some of your concern when little Italian-Filipino Jimmy goes all Peekaboo Street while skiing (she tore her knee THREE times). Maybe his stem cells will help him recover faster and better. Cool!

But seriously, my main point is that mixed kids are more likely to die from leukemia because they can't find a match (I'm not siting a source because I don't feel like searching for the data). If they are part Black, they are more likely to have sickle cell anemia, which afflicts people of African descent more than Whites, and yet they are less likely to be find matching stem cells that could cure them.

So, please, save your babies' stem cells. Now that I no longer work for a private stem cell bank, I can publicly root for you to donate them via the National Marrow Donor Program (, if you don't want to pay the private storage fee.

And no, this blog post was not sponsored by anyone. I just got home from the gym and was thinking about mixed people health issues.

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