Every year, thousands of adults and children need bone marrow
transplants, a procedure that may be their only chance for
survival. Although some patients with aplastic anemia, leukemia or
other cancers have a genetically matched family member who can
donate, about 70 percent do not. These patients' lives depend on
finding an unrelated individual with a compatible tissue type,
often within their own ethnic group, who is willing to donate
marrow. For more information, please visit the National Marrow
Donor Program Web site at www.marrow.org.
Click here to read a touching letter from a bone marrow
Donors joining the NMDP Registry must be between 18-44 years
old, in good health and meet the NMDP donor eligibility guidelines.
Donors who are not eligible to join the national registry can help
patients in other ways such as making a financial contribution to
tissue type other donors.
If you match the tissue type of a patient seeking a donor,
additional testing will confirm the results and you will meet with
marrow donor counselors who will help you make an informed decision
about donating marrow.
The marrow collection process usually does not require an
overnight stay in the hospital. The procedure itself is painless
because it is performed under anesthesia. But for an average of two
weeks following the procedure, most donors experience sore hips and
some must restrict their activities. Most donors also report that
donating marrow is a very positive experience. Many marrow donors
are willing to donate again in the future.
Terrell- A young man lost
his battle with leukemia after being unable to find a bone marrow
match. His inspiring story encourages others to join the
Elyse- Elyse is studying
medicine at the University of Florida after receiving a life-saving
bone marrow transplant as a teen.
Caitlyn- A Volusia County
teen starts college thanks to receiving a bone marrow transplant
from a donor on the registry.
Mark- A Walgreens Manager
donates bone marrow years after joining the registry.
Sam- When 20-year-old UCF student Sam joined
the National Bone Marrow Registry at a blood drive in high school
he really didn’t think that much about it and figured he might be
able to help someone in need. He says he was surprised when a
representative called him about a year later saying he was a match
for a patient in need of a bone marrow transplant.