If there are new blood cells in your body everyday, thank the bone marrow. Yes, the bone marrow produces about 200 billion new blood cells everyday. The soft, spongy material found inside your bones are a wonder. Unfortunately, they malfunction at times which comes out as various diseases and cancer at times. More often, a bone marrow transplant can bring a ray of hope to the needy and gives them a fair chance of survival. The good news, however, is that transplanting a bone marrow is easy, as easy and fast as donating blood.
What are Bone Marrow Transplants?
In a bone marrow transplant, healthy tissue is replaced for the diseased tissue. It is usually the stem cells found in the blood and that’s why bone marrow transplants are also called stem cell transplants. The stem cells present in the blood of a donor are infused/ transplanted into the patient. The stem cells of the donor can essentially come in two ways a) from the blood circulating in his body b) from the umbilical cord of the donor.
Although Bone Marrow transplant is an easy procedure, it comes with a catch. It requires a matching donor to replace the stem cells of the patient. There are a few ways that we can adopt in finding a bone marrow match.
- Immediate family
Most of the patients who require stem cell transplantation can easily end up finding a bone marrow match in their immediate family. This is possible for 30% of the patients
- Getting a matching donor
70% of the patients who don’t find a bone marrow match within their family are advised by the doctors to find a matching donor.
A statistics says about 14,000-15,000 people in a year ranging from children to adults look for a matching bone marrow donor outside the family.
Ways to find a donor
- Donor Services
There are a few organizations who offer donor services for Bone Marrow transplantation. Be the Match, being one.
- Matching of the HLA
HLA matching is something your doctor will do either from the available cord blood units or from a prospective donor. HLA stands for Human Leucocyte Antigens. This helps the medico find which are those proteins on the surface of White Blood Cells that makes the person’s tissue unique.
Donor FAQ services help a prospective donor and those in search of donor’s.
- Browse through the Registry
Search the Registry in the National Marrow Donor Program or Be the Match Registry to find the potential donors.
- Call the support Centers
Register with NMDP online or in person at the Donor Centre. Also, you can call the support centers of NMDP at the toll-free number -1-800-MARROW2 or Be the Support call center-1 (888) 999-6743 or (763) 406-3410
The Donation Process-In Brief
The process takes about 5 days. An injection is administered by a trained doctor. Further, the health care provider goes on to place a needle in each of your hands. While one draws the blood, the other circulates the stem cells. The process is then repeated.
The End Result
Walk like a hero, You have saved someone’s life!
Gift of Life Marrow Registry Also Offers Following Services :
Gift of Life Marrow Registry Address: 800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL Phone: (800) 962-7769