Will you Join? Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry (UPDATED)

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Be The Match Foundation is the new name for The Marrow Foundation.



A friend of ours was diagnosed recently with Leukemia.  She has been so strong through all of it and is almost ready, once the leukemia goes into remission,  for a bone marrow transplant.  Every day is one step closer to remission.  She recently posted on facebook how we can all register to be bone marrow donors by registering online.  Even if we aren’t a match to her, we might have the chance to help someone.  She had said that you could even donate painlessly through blood! Through blood? I had always heard it was a really painful procedure involving needles going into your hip area!


I headed over to the website www.marrow.org/ and read the FAQ.


Q: What is the donation process like?



A: Adult donors may be asked to donate in one of two ways:
  • Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure in which liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor’s pelvic bones using special, hollow needles. General or regional anesthesia is always used for this procedure, so donors feel no needle injections and no pain during marrow donation. Most donors feel some pain in their lower back for a few days afterwards.
  • Peripheral blood cell (PBSC) donation involves removing a donor’s blood through a sterile needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm.

They also have an informative Myth vs. Fact section.  Below is some of the interesting stuff I learned:




MYTH:

All bone marrow donations involve surgery.

FACT:

The majority of donations do not involve surgery. Today, the patient’s doctor most often requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical.




MYTH:

Donating is painful and involves a long recovery.

FACT:

There can be uncomfortable but short-lived side effects of donating PBSC. Due to taking a drug called filgrastim for five days leading up to donation, PBSC donors may have headaches, joint or muscle aches, or fatigue. PBSC donors are typically back to their normal routine in one to two days.
Those donating marrow receive general or regional anesthesia, so they feel no pain during donation. Marrow donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back for one to two weeks afterward. Most marrow donors are back to their normal activities in two to seven days.





My parents and myself are all registered organ donors.  My mom and dad both donated blood and platelets until they were disqualified due to their own health issues.  My mom and I give blood as often as we can.  I would love to be able to take this next step and be able to donate bone marrow to someone, anyone!


When you sign up you answer some basic medial questions as well as provide your SSN and drivers licence number as well as your current address and phone number.  It may seem like a lot of personal information to give out but they need it so they can get a hold of you if you ever match someone on the registry waiting for bone marrow. 


Next they send you a free kit that instructs you how to take a cheek swab.  Then you mail back your samples in a postage paid envelope.  They will test your samples and enter you into the donor registry. They will contact you if you ever match someone in need. 


If you are not comfortable registering as a potential donor, at least consider donating.  It costs $100 to add a new donor to the registry. The donor does not pay anything to register.  They will put your contribution to work by growing the Be The Match Registry, providing financial assistance to help patients throughout their transplant journey and advancing medical discovery to help patients live longer, healthier lives.  Please visit the Be The Match Donation Page if you wish to donate!  You can donate as little or as much as you would like, and it is tax deductible. 


Stay informed!
Follow them on twitter  @BeTheMatch
Facebook www.facebook.com/BeTheMatch
Their Website www.marrow.org




UPDATE
My tissue-typing  kit came in the mail yesterday and I mailed it back this morning.  In about 6 weeks they should be done testing and I will be added to the registry!

My cheek swabs ready to be packed up and mailed back!


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One thought on “Will you Join? Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry (UPDATED)

  1. Heather Murphy

    Hi, I am stopping by as part of the BSN blog hop. Interesting post. Good luck to your friend. I hope a match is found soon.

    Reply

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