Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bone Marrow Donation | voluntary process

Bone Marrow Donation | voluntary process -- Blood and bone marrow donation is a voluntary process. You agree to allow doctors to draw blood stem cells from your blood or bone marrow for transplantation. Blood stem cells from blood and bone marrow donation are used to treat some cancers, such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma, and other diseases. You might consider blood and bone marrow donation because you have a family member who needs a transplant and doctors think that you're likely to be a good match for that person.
Blood stem cells, the cells that transplant patients need to make healthy new marrow, usually live in bone marrow, but are also released naturally, in small numbers, into the circulating (peripheral) blood. A medication called Filgrastim will dramatically increase the release of blood stem cells into the circulating blood so that enough cells for transplant can be collected directly from the bloodstream.

Every year, thousands of adults and children need bone marrow transplants — a procedure which may be their only chance for survival. Although some patients with leukemia or other cancers have a genetically matched family member who can donate, about 70 percent do not. These patients' lives depend on finding an unrelated individual with a compatible tissue type, often within their own ethnic group, who is willing to donate marrow for them.

As of February 2009, the Be The Match RegistrySM has facilitated over 35,000 unrelated bone marrow transplants and the national Registry has over 7 million volunteer donors. In the Puget Sound region, our local donor center has more than 68,000 volunteer donors on the national Registry. There is a critical need for more volunteer donors. Many patients, especially people of color, cannot find a compatible donor among those on the Registry. Patients and donors must have matching tissue types, and these matches are most often found between people of the same racial and ethnic background. A large, ethnically diverse group of prospective donors will give more patients a chance for survival.
An Elmira resident is organizing a bone marrow drive in honor of her young cousin who passed away from leukemia.

The first step of the drive is to find bone marrow matches for those in need. The registry is scheduled for this Thursday at the Chemung County YMCA from three-to-seven. At the event, you can register to be a bone marrow donor by bringing in a photo id and getting a mouth swab. The organizer says this drive means a lot to her. “It will mean the world to me, it will mean a lot to know that we couldn't save Nina but we can save somebody else's cousin, it would mean a lot.” said Suki Crespo-Vega. Vega says donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are needed the most. Patients in need of a transplant usually match someone of their own race and ethnicity.

Tags: bone marrow registry, bone marrow donation procedure, bone marrow, be the match registry, bone marrow transplant