Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bone Marrow Donation

Recently I was contacted by the Bone Marrow Registry stating that I was a match for a patient. This caught me off guard as I signed up with the registry in 1998, while living in Arizona and in college. I think I went to give blood one day and they asked if I wanted to be on the list, I said yes, they took a swab of my mouth and that was it, very simple. After the first call to see if I was willing to move forward, which I agreed to, they set up a call for a health history review. That is now completed and tomorrow I go to get my blood drawn to run more tests to see how good of a match I am for the patient. The only information that I will ever know about the patient until a year after transplant is that he is a 63 yr old male with myelodysplastic syndrome. If I am a good match the donation could take place in the next 2 months. I am of course nervous of the process and have tried to research it the best that I can. There are 2 donation methods - harvesting bone marrow from my hip under light anesthesia or a peripheral donation after taking a certain medication for 5 days that draws the stem cells out of my bone marrow. The donation may need to be done in California or possibly somewhere on the east coast. The reason I bring this up is that I don't know anyone that has ever gone through this process, do you? If so do you mind filling me in on their experience, positive or negative, complications, side effects, etc. I am totally willing to help out. I know circumstances where some people have never gotten a match and have died. I want to help but I want to be informed the best that I can. So please comment if you have any info. Thanks!