The C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense (DoD) Marrow Donor Recruitment and Research Program was established by Public Law 101-302 in 1990. Our program was named for Congressman C.W. Bill Young, who made the national marrow donor program the best source of hope for thousands of Americans needing rescue from otherwise fatal blood diseases.
We are often called the DoD Marrow Donor Program or Salute to Life and we have been recruiting, testing, and serving bone marrow donors since we began operations in1991. Based out of Rockville, Maryland, we’re a small but dedicated team associated with Georgetown University and U.S. Department of the Navy.
We work exclusively with military personnel and their dependents, DoD civilian employees, Reservists, and Coast Guard and National Guard members to facilitate marrow and stem cell donations. The design of our program allows us to meet the special needs of military donors. Our donors are listed within the National Marrow Donor Registry through a separate Department of Defense donor management system that offers higher security and staff who understand the complexities of military life.
We have recruited more than 1 million individuals to fight against blood cancer and other fatal diseases. This year, more than 20,000 people will be diagnosed with diseases that require an infusion of bone marrow or stem cells (HRSA, 2016). About 70% of patients will be unable to find an appropriate match within their own family and will require an unrelated donor (NMDP, 2016).