Hematologist (Blood Specialist) Questions Leukemia

I want to be a bone marrow donor

I lost a friend to leukemia many years ago. I would like to become a bone marrow donor in his memory. How do I do this? Is it painful to donate bone marrow?

5 Answers

Bravo! It's great that you want to be a donor! Nowadays, most "marrow" transplants use bone marrow-derived stem cells collected from the circulating blood. The technique of collection is similar to that used for platelet donation. The process is called apheresis. So no, it's not painful at all. You may want to register as a donor with the National Marrow Donor Program at https://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-bone-marrow/
You can learn everything you need to know from their web site.
Best wishes!
I think it's amazing that you would like to do this in memory of your friend. I have provided you a link where you can sign up to join the national bone marrow registry. You will have to search on the website for sites near you where you would be able to donate. Usually, the way bone marrow is donated is through peripheral lines, like IVs. The most common way to collect marrow is by giving you a shot to increase your white blood cells, and then taking those cells and dividing them out into the stem cells that we need. This is relatively painless. They may be some bony aches with the shots as your marrow produces more cells than it's used to. The other way to donate marrow is via a bone marrow harvest. These are usually reserved for specific situations where a family member does not fully match the recipient. This is a bit more involved, and can be painful at times. Different areas use different techniques, so I cannot speak for all. I would talk to the center where you would be donating to see the specifics of how they retrieve your cells. If it is peripherally, there should be minimal pain involved. Thank you for your generosity. So many individuals can benefit from your donation.


Dr. Bower



Learn How to Donate Bone Marrow | Be The Match<https://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-bone-marrow/>
Recruiting new registry members ages 18 to 44 to become a donor and learn the steps of the donation process.
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Contact the National Bone Marrow Registry: https://www.giftoflife.org/registergclid=CjwKCAjwpfzOBRA5EiwAU0ccNy6k9MNr180CrKRygS8hJeCXEfLI7Qrap_AjksDpsSlt1JNhaoprvRoCUJoQAvD_BwE

If you are a stem cell donor, it does not hurt very much. Primarily is a big needle stick.

Kenneth Myron Braunstei, MD
go to the local stem cell transplant cancer center and you will get advice what to do
That is a great way to honor a loved one and save a life in the process.

You can join the bone marrow registry here: https://bethematch.org

Bone marrow donation is now done via peripheral blood with a leukopheresis machine after treatment with growth factors.
In other words, they will give you a bone marrow booster to make your stem cells come out to your blood stream, then you get hooked to a pheresis machine (similar to the one used for platelet donation) and they collect your stem cells (called CD 34 cells).
That sample gets frozen until it is ready to use. They will not poke your hip or breast bone.
Hope this is helpful.
Dr. Calvo