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Marrow Donation through the Be The Match Registry operated by the National Marrow Donor Program
Thousands of people suffer from diseases treatable with marrow or blood stem cell transplants. The National Marrow Donor Program finds donors for patients who don't have a match in their family.
First, volunteer. Join the Registry if you are 18-44 years old, in good health, and willing to give a swab of cheek cells. If you are 45-60, you will be required to make a $100 tax deductible contribution to cover the cost of your registration. The contribution can be make directly online on the BeTheMatch website while you are registering. Doctors request donors in the 18-44 age group more than 90% of the time because research shows that cells from younger donors provide the greatest chance for transplant success.
Testing costs are covered by health insurance or Michael's Fund of Fall River, MA. You can register at any Rhode Island Blood Center office or blood drive by asking the staff for an application.
Next, if you are a match, give blood samples to confirm it.
Then, you make a decision to give after an information session and a physical exam.
There are two ways to give if you are a match.
A Marrow Donation is donated in a hospital. After anesthesia is given, doctors remove a small amount of marrow from the back of the hip bones with a needle and syringe. Recovery is quick, though most donors have some bone pain and aches for several days or a few weeks. The marrow given naturally replenishes itself in four to six weeks. This method is selected 25 percent of the time.
A Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation is a special type of blood donation given at the Rhode Island Blood Center. Five daily injections of a stem cell growth factor are given to donors to increase the number of stem cells released from the marrow into the blood stream. Then an apheresis blood donation is made. Donors can experience bone pain as a result of receiving the growth factor. Recovery is quick, however, just one or two days after the donation is made. This method is selected 75 percent of the time.
You Can Save A Life!
For more information on joining the Be The Match Registry or to sponsor a marrow registration drive, please call 401-248-5762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is also available on www.marrow.org.Click here to take the first step to become a marrow donor!