A KEY POINT TO KNOW: Unless you are running an expedited drive for a patient in critical need it doesn't matter which drive people join. All results are placed in the National Marrow Donor Program Regsitry where they are matched to all patients world wide.
From the swab 'tissue type' or your 'HLA type' can be gathered. This string of markers is what is used to match a patient to a donor. It takes approximately 10 minutes to donate your sample, it is painless and no blood is involved.
Once a sample is sent in, all results will be added to the National Marrow Donor Program registry the tissue types of patients in need internationally. Your stem cells can be harvested and flown to them. Samples remain in the registry until you are 44 years old with the hope you will be able to save the life of a person in need.
The Registration Process
1) Potentail donors need to complete a brief health questionnaire to verify their eligibility to join the registry
2) Sign a form consenting to have your tissue type listed on the registry until their 61st birthday
3) Use a cheek swab kit to submit their tissue sample.
Joining is easy. Patients need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 60, are in good general health, and are willing to donate to any patient in need. People can register online or over the phone. The kit will be mailed to them, they will swab their mouth with 4 cotton swabs, return them to the kit and mail it back. That's it. That's all it takes to join the National Marrow Donor Program. If they are a match they will be contacted and more extensive, formal testing will be conducted at that time
Ethnic Minorities: There is a critical need for more ethnic diversity in the national registry (Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, African American, Native American & Alaskan, National Hawaiian, Hispanic, and Multi-Racial) your tissue typing costs are completely covered by a federal grant if you are of any minority ethnicity or your descent is of mixed ethnicities.
Please share contact information with potential donors about any ethnic specific donor programs onloine or in their area.
ALWAYS INCLUDE LINKS to Sites Where People can Register.
This video (click here) shows how to use the mail-in swab kit: (1 minute 43 seconds) You can embed it on your website or blog. To learn how CLICK HERE.
Locate a LIve Drive Anywhere in the U.S. on the Be The Match Website (CLICK HERE)
Contact a Donor Program to learn their schedule (CLICK HERE)
Testing is free to all thanks to Federal Grants and fund raising.
Joining is easy. Patients need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 44, in good general health, and are willing to donate to any patient in need.
Option #3 Visit a donor office in person
People can contact a Marrow Donor Program or local blood center to see if they offer testing at a fixed location. Not all offices are prepared to offer the kits so for instance, general practioners most likely will not have any marrow registration kits on hand.
Option #4 Private Testing
This is the fastest way to be tested and is also the only way to only be tested for one specific person. If peole donate through any public donor program their results will be entered into the national database and will be kept on record to potentially be matched by every person ever in need.
Online people can use Bone Marrow Test.com. Here is their website's current pricing for private tests and the turnaround time to receive your results:
Cost for a 7-10 day result is $195
Cost for a 2-4 day result is $395
If their HLA sample meets the critieria to be a "Preliminary Match" the subsequent "Formal" or "Confirmative" testing costs somewhere in the neighborhood of an additional $3000 which may or may not be covered by their insurance.
A fifth way to donate into the registry exists
Donate Umbilical Cord Blood: In the past, when a baby was born, the umbilical cord was thrown away. But today, blood from the umbilical cord can be collected after a baby's birth and donated to a public cord blood bank to help someone with a life-threatening disease. (more info here)
Disclaimer: The information and suggestions on this site are just that and should not be interpreted as medical or legal advice. Please consult a physician or practicing attorney for any formal advice regarding these issues.
Information on any third party links located on this website are only verified by the original source.