How to save a life
Tina Jensen reports. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The process of bone marrow donation is a lot easier than it was even a decade ago, thanks to medical advances.
But not everyone can find a match.
Only about one in three patients can find a match in their own family.
That means 70 percent of all patients need help from a national registry.
That’s 10,000 new patients each year searching for a donor on a national registry – with no guarantee of finding a genetic match.
One of the main ways to help is by getting on the bone marrow registry.
It’s as simple as going to a donor drive and swabbing your cheek or logging onto bethematch.org and ordering a kit that you mail back.
If you’re chosen as a donor, it’s free to you.
The most common way to donate is through Peripheral Blood Stem Donation. The donor’s blood is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the needed stem cells. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm.
The other way is actual marrow donation – a surgical procedure where the bone marrow is removed from a pelvic bone.
In both cases, donors are back to their normal activities in a few days, according to Be The Match.