Among the 10,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed with life-threatening blood illnesses each year, black people have the lowest chance of finding a donor for a bone marrow transplant.

“I call it the genetic powerball,” said Jennifer Baird, an account executive for donor recruitment at the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be The Match registry.

To increase the pool of black donors, Be The Match has declared July African-American Bone Marrow Awareness Month. It’s holding donor drives (go to to see where), and has launched a website,, to educate people about the donation process.