Saturday, May 10, 2008

What's Your Excuse?

Have you registered with the National Bone Marrow Program?

If you're using any of these excuses, think again:

  • I can't stand the sight of blood: Testing no longer requires blood. Just give a few cells from your cheek.
  • I'm too busy: It only takes a few seconds to swab your cheek. You don't have to leave the comfort of your home.
  • I'm a big baby. If I'm a match, I'm afraid of the procedure: Donating your stem cells is now as simple as donating platelets and takes just one day out of your life.
  • I'm too poor to afford the $50 for a kit: Until May 19, the Donor Garden is providing FREE kits. The National Bone Marrow Program is also offering free kits to the first 10,000 people who register online before May 19.
If you are Asian, African American or mixed race (like me), then it is especially important that you register:
  • A Caucasian has a 70% chance of finding a match on the National Registry.
  • Minorities have a 10% chance.
  • Mixed-race patients have a 2% chance.

The more people who register, then the greater the chance of finding a match.

Wouldn't you love to be a life-saving match? PLEASE register today.

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: I checked in to Hotel Hope for round three of Hyper CVAD.


Barbara Roth said...

Please tell us more about the proceedure to harvest the stem cells. I read about it after I was motivated by your different posts and it sounds very difficult, but think it is a great thing to do if I thought I was up to it.

Susan Carrier said...

Hi Barbara, This information is from the National Marrow Donor Program website:

Donating PBSC (peripheral blood stem cells) involves two steps: receiving injections of filgrastim and making the donation.

Receiving filgrastim injections: To move more blood-forming cells from your bone marrow to your bloodstream, you will receive filgrastim, a drug given by injection each day for five days before the donation.

The first injection will be given at a donor center or medical clinic. You may receive injections on days two, three and four at your place of work, your home, at a donor center or at a medical clinic. On the fifth day, you will receive your final dose of filgrastim, and then donate your blood cells at the donor center or hospital outpatient unit.

Donating the cells: PBSC donation is done through a process called apheresis, which is similar to donating plasma. During apheresis, a needle will be placed into each of your arms. Blood will be removed from a vein in one arm and passed through tubing into a blood cell separator machine.

The machine collects blood-forming cells, platelets and some white blood cells. Plasma and red blood cells are returned to your body through the other arm. All the tubing used in the machine is sterile and is used only once for your donation. If only one donation is done, it may take up to six hours. If two donations are done on separate days, each collection will take three to four hours.