NEW BLOOD DONOR INFORMATION
CALIFORNIA BLOOD CENTERS ::
NEW YORK BLOOD
Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Welcome to the Bloodmobile
online bone marrow donor registration information page. If you are in
good health and between the ages of 17 and 50, and think that you may
be willing to donate bone marrow, please review the following
information. This package contains bone marrow donation information
that you need to get the bone marrow donation registration process
Step 1: Learn about bone marrow donation.
Please take some time to
read the information provided carefully. It is important that you
fully understand what is involved in bone marrow donation before
proceeding to step 2.
Step 2: Complete the information assessment,
Health assessment and Consent.
This step will assess your
knowledge of the bone marrow donation process and organize necessary
personal, health-related and contact information required so that you
could be added to the Bone Marrow Donation Registry.
What is the Registry all about?
Fewer than 30 per cent of
patients who need bone marrow transplants are able to find a
compatible donor within their own families. The remainder rely on the
generosity of others who have volunteered to donate bone marrow to
those in need.
The Bone Marrow Donor Registry is
maintained to assist in finding matching, unrelated volunteer donors
for patients who require bone marrow transplants. Many needy
individuals receive bone marrow transplants each year through the Bone
Marrow Donor Registry. For many of these patients needing this
procedure, a transplant may be the last and best chance for recovery
from several serious illnesses.
What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is the tissue found
in the soft center of our bones. It produces Blood cells, including
red Blood cells, white Blood cells to fight infection and platelets to
help stop bleeding.
What is a bone marrow transplant?
In a bone marrow transplant, a
patientís diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow
from a volunteer bone marrow donor. To prepare for the bone marrow
transplant, the bone marrow recipient is usually given high doses of
radiation and/or chemotherapy to destroy the diseased marrow. Stripped
of the ability to manufacture life-giving blood cells, the recipient
is extremely vulnerable and may not survive unless the bone marrow
donor proceeds with the donation. Once the healthy bone marrow is
collected from the donor, it is quickly administered to the recipient.
Which diseases are treated with bone marrow
A wide variety of diseases and
disorders are treated with bone marrow transplants, including
blood-related diseases such as leukemia, aplastic anemia, inherited
immune system and metabolic disorders.
How does the Registry work?
The Registry catalogs
volunteers who wish to donate bone marrow to anyone who might need it.
A database of tissue typing results of all prospective donors is
maintained. Whenever a patient requires a bone marrow transplant, the
registry is able to search the database to identify potential matching
Because the bone marrow registry complies with international standards
established by the World Marrow Donor Association, more than eight
million donors in over 50 registries in other countries are part of
the effort. By agreeing to make their donor data available worldwide,
registries have significantly increased the odds of being able to find
a matching bone marrow donor for any patient, anywhere in the world.
Therefore your bone marrow donation may save the life of someone in
your own neighborhood or it may be headed for an individual on the
other side of the world. You can be sure that the person receiving
your bone marrow donation needs your help. It is a worldwide volunteer
system that can work for everyone in need.
What does this mean to me as a potential
Itís important to understand
that joining the Registry represents a long-term commitment to donate
bone marrow to anyone. This commitment made by a potential donor is
what enables the Registry to work. It is extremely unlikely that you
will match a particular individual in your community. It may be years
before you are called to donate. You may never be called.
What kinds of bone marrow donors are needed?
Because a personís best chance
of finding a matching donor is within his or her own family or,
failing that our own ethnic group, it is important that the
composition of the Registry reflect ethnic diversity as well as young
What do you mean by a "bone marrow match?"
When it comes to bone marrow we
are products of the aggregate combination of our ancestors. Bone
marrow matches are determined according to the compatibility of
inherited genetic markers called Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA). Six
specific antigens are presently considered as important to the
matching process. Each of your parents gave you three. These antigens
are not related to your blood type.
Is there a matching donor for every patient
who needs a bone marrow transplant?
Even with millions of donors
enrolled in registries worldwide, a perfect bone marrow match is not
always available. Some patients have uncommon antigens that may be
very difficult to match. In these instances it can be virtually
impossible to find a bone marrow donor. It is for this reason that the
diversity of the Registry must be enhanced by increasing the number of
potential donors who possess unique antigens.
Does joining the Registry cost me anything?
No. Joining the Registry is
free and you will not be charged for any part of the testing or