About Caitlin, The Registry History
The Caitlin Raymond International Registry was founded by Joanne Raymond in 1986, following the search for an unrelated bone marrow donor on behalf of her daughter, Caitlin. Born in Seoul, Korea in 1980, Caitlin Anna Raymond was adopted by Joanne and Michael Raymond in 1982. At 18 months of age, Caitlin began her new life in the United States and her parents had all of the dreams and hopes that every parent has for their child. But in 1984, Caitlin was diagnosed with juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (JCML). Caitlin's only hope of a cure was a bone marrow transplant and, as a child with no biological family available to donate, her condition was considered incurable. Rather than return home to watch their daughter die, the Raymonds began a tireless search through international blood banks, praying that a match could be found to give Caitlin a second chance at life.
It was during this search that the Raymonds discovered that very few donor sources existed and that each had to be searched individually for its few available donors. A year-long search was begun and letters were sent to any blood bank that stored the HLA typing of tissue or solid organ donors. With the assistance of laboratory personnel around the world, additional compatibility testing was performed on potentially matched donors. After months of work, it was with great joy that a donor was located through the Anthony Nolan Trust in London. Without a single thought of herself, Edna Grint, Caitlin's donor, left her village in England for the first time and boarded a flight to the United States to help a perfect stranger.
Caitlin received her transplant in March of 1985 and engraftment of the donor's marrow occurred. Sadly, she died three months later due to complications from the transplant and prior treatment. But the work did not end there. Hoping to assist other parents in their search for an unrelated marrow donor, Mrs. Raymond established an international search coordinating center at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center to perform searches through worldwide donor sources for any patient in need.
Today, The Caitlin Raymond International Registry accesses 93 bone marrow donor registries and cord blood banks worldwide and has performed a search for nearly 73,000 patients. Since its inception, the Caitlin Raymond International Registry has remained a comprehensive resource for patients and physicians conducting a search for unrelated bone marrow or cord blood donors.
While Caitlin only graced us with her presence for five short years, her legacy continues.