Become a Donor:
You May Have What It Takes To Save a Life
To become a donor it just takes a small vial of blood or swab of cheek cells to be typed as a bone marrow/stem cell donor. There are many patients who are desperately waiting to find a donor match. You may be able to save someone’s life. There are donor registry sites throughout the country.
You must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and in general good health. You should be committed to helping any patient. A simple blood test or cheek cell swab that is given through an authorized National Marrow Donor Program Donor Center or Recruitment Group is needed to obtain your HLA tissue type so it can be entered into the National Registry. You will have to complete a short health questionnaire and sign a form stating that you understand what it means to be listed in the Registry.
The cost for HLA tissue typing ranges from $45 to $96 depending on the Donor Center, the level of testing performed, and the laboratory that analyzes the test results. There may be funding available to offset this cost through the Donor Center. After the initial testing, all medical expenses are covered by the recipient or the recipient’s insurance. Please contact your local Donor Center for further information.
To find out more information and to become a donor:
Be The Match | The National Marrow Donor Program
Patient Support: 1-888-999-6743
DKMS | We Delete Blood Cancer
The Gift of Life
The Icla da Silva Foundation, Inc.
Providing support services to children and adults with leukemia and other diseases treatable by marrow transplants
Every 15 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with a medical condition (over 35,000 people a year) such as leukemia, anemia’s, myelodysplastic disorders and other life-threatening diseases that require treatment with bone marrow/stem cell transplants. Nearly 70 percent of these patients must rely on an unrelated donor to offer them this precious gift of life. Unfortunately, many patients who are in need of a bone marrow/stem cell transplant cannot find a suitable donor – no relatives that match and no match among volunteer donors.
Fortunately, there is an alternative that has been researched and is now proving to be a good option for many of these patients—stem cells from a newborn’s placental and umbilical cord blood. A newborn’s umbilical cord and placenta contains stem cells that are the building blocks for mature blood and immune system cells. Umbilical cord blood is collected at the time of birth under controlled conditions, shipped to a blood bank where it is tested, typed and stored.
Two studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 351:2276-285 and an editorial by Miguel A. Sanz, M.D., Ph.D. in the same issue, concluded that cord blood should be considered as an acceptable source of stem cells in the absence of a matched bone marrow donor. For many gravely ill patients (who do not have an available donor who is a match), the immediate availability of typed cord blood units is a compelling reason for its use. And for ethnic minorities, who may have unique combinations of HLA types, the chances of finding a donor match with cord blood is greater than from the existing bone marrow donor pool.
If you have a family history of certain diseases you might choose to save your baby’s cord blood with a private bank. Alternatively, you can donate the cord blood to a public bank. The Bone Marrow Foundation encourages you to direct any questions you have concerning the use and storage of cord blood to your physician or other appropriate health care professional. The following are further resources for more information on public and private banking:
Public Banking National Marrow Donor Program
National Cord Blood Program
New York Blood Center
310 East 67th Street
New York, NY 10021
1-866- 767-NCBP (6227)
Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Banking