Bone Marrow & blood Stem Cell Donation

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Health Promotion
Public Health
 
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What would you like to do?

What you need to know

Be The Match Logo

Text Nebraska to 61474 to join the Registry.

Thousands of people with blood cancers and other diseases - like sickle cell anemia - need a marrow or blood stem cell transplant to survive. Most don't have a fully matched donor in their family. That's why donors are needed.

  • 70% of those needing a marrow transplant don't have a fully-matched donor in their family.
  • 14,000 people annually rely on transplants from someone outside their family.

Donating Marrow & Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC)

A blood stem cell transplant replaces a person's unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy ones.

Adults may be asked to donate one of two ways:

  • About 77% of the time, a person's doctor requests a PBSC donation - a non-surgical outpatient procedure similar to donating platelets or plasma.
  • About 23% of the time, doctors request marrow - a surgical, outpatient procedure that takes place at a hospital. General or regional anesthesia is always used.

Joining the Be The Match Registry

To join the Be The Match registry, people need to meet age and health guidelines and be willing to donate to any patient in need. Registration involves completing a health history form and giving a swab of cheek cells.

People between the ages of 18 and 44 are most urgently needed since they are requested by transplant doctors more than 86% of the time, and research shows that these donors provide the greatest chance for transplant success.

People between the ages of 45 and 60 who want to join the registry can do so with a $100 tax-deductible payment.

Join either online or by texting Nebraska to 61474.

About 1 in every 430 U.S. Be the Match Registry members go on to donate. 

What Happens If You're Called to Donate?

If you are called as a potential match for a person in need, you'll commit 20 to 30 hours spread over four to six weeks to:

  • Attend an information session
  • Attend appointments
  • Donate

Greater Need for Racial and Ethnic Minority Donors

Because genetic markers used in matching are inherited, donors are most likely to match someone who shares the same ethnic background. The likelihood of having a matched, available donor on the Be The Match registry ranges from 23% to 77% - depending on the ethnic background.

Likelihood of Finding a Matched Adult Donor on the Be The Match Registry by Patient Ethnicity