Bone Marrow Donor and Transplant Awareness: BeTheMatch.org · Register Online · ActiveBeat.com · Risk Factors · New Jersey Medical Leave · Financial Donations
Every year in the U.S., more than 17,000 people are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses in which they need a bone marrow, or umbilical cord blood transplant. These types of transplants replace diseased cells with healthy cells. The tricky part tends to be finding a well-matched donor. This is key when it comes to a successful transplant, which is why the more people who donate marrow, the more survivors we have. We encourage you to consider becoming a donor and potentially saving a life.
There are two types of donation, and they don’t require long hospital stays, according to BeTheMatch.org. One procedure, peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) is non-surgical — you are injected with a special drug for about a week ahead of time to spike the number of cells in your blood, which you then donate.
Contrary to the popular belief that marrow transplants are excruciating, doctors administer anesthesia during the surgical procedure, so you won’t feel pain. Liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of your pelvic bone via two small punctures. It doesn’t require enough of your marrow to compromise your own immune system. After effects may include back pain, fatigue, headache or bruising for a few days or weeks.
The vast majority of marrow donors say it was worth it to help save a life, and they would do it again.
The House of Representatives voted to pass the Timely ReAuthorization of Necessary Stem-cell Programs Lends Access to Needed Therapies Act, which reauthorizes the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (CWBYCTP) and the National Cord Blood Inventory. The National Marrow Donor Program®(NMDP)/Be The Match® is the designated operator of CWBYCTP’s national bone marrow registry, which contains more than 20 million potential donors.