BLOODMOBILE BONE MARROW DONATION INFORMATION

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Bone Marrow Donor Registry Information
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 started.

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 transplants?
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 donors.

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 donor?
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 donors.

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 donation process.
 

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   Last updated May 20 21:00:28 2005   bloodmobile.com