Leukemia Patient Nearly Dies; Twin Has Idea to Save Thousands

Posted: March 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

For nearly 18 years Graham and Britton Douglas believed they were fraternal twins. That was until Britton needed a bone-marrow transplant because chemotherapy for his leukemia had failed.

The Fort Worth, Texas, brothers learned that they were identical twins, sharing the same DNA, and therefore Britton could not receive his brother's bone marrow because their genetic make-up was too similar to fight the cancer.

Today, at 27, Britton Douglas is a healthy, successful Dallas lawyer, thanks to a bone marrow donation by a stranger.

But his twin brother, knowing that he nearly lost his only sibling, has been obsessed for nearly a decade with finding better ways to get more Americans to become donors.

"It's indescribable how much I love my brother," said Graham. "I don't know what I would do without him."

Graham's concept was so simple and yet could save the lives of tens of thousands of Americans with leukemia who are waiting for a bone-marrow transplant: packing a swab kit inside a box of bandage strips.

A senior creative at the New York City advertising agency Droga 5, he found his inspiration last year while teaching a portfolio class at a commercial arts school.

Year after year, he has challenged his students to find a creative solution to attract more donors. Two students he refers to as the "Spanish team" -- Alfredo and Alberto -- came up with the "germ" of an idea last year, and it has now hit the market.

The consumer healthcare company Help Remedies partnered with Graham and the world's largest bone marrow registry, DKMS, to release the new product -- "help I've cut myself & I want to save a life." The cost is $4.

Before applying a bandage strip to a minor cut, consumers can swab their blood and then send the sample in a self-addressed, stamped envelope, along with their age and email address, to DKMS.

Originally posted here:
Leukemia Patient Nearly Dies; Twin Has Idea to Save Thousands

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