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300,000 People in Taiwan Offer to Donate Bone Marrow
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More than 300,000 people in Taiwan have registered with the private charity Tzu Chi Foundation to donate bone marrow from their spinal chord for transplants, according to a report reaching Hong Kong from Taipei on Monday.


Chen Nai-yu, who seeks possible bone marrow donors for the foundation, said the 300,000th would-be donor, a female nurse, signed a statement in Luchou of Taipei county on Sunday promising to donate bone marrow if needed.


The nurse was one of 120 people who did so and had their blood drawn for tests for this purpose Sunday morning in the northern Taiwan rural township, Chen said.


The Tzu Chi Foundation began a program in 1997 to collect information on people willing to make bone marrow donations. The foundation has kept this information at its Stem Cell Center in Hualien.


The center, which is touted as the world's third largest data bank of its kind, has successfully matched 1,100 donors and recipients from 23 countries and regions since the program began.


(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2006)

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