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How Marrow Donations are Given

1. PBSC (Peripheral Blood Stem Cell)

Over 80% of the time donors are asked to give stem cells through their blood using a non-surgical method called PBSC. To increase the number of blood-forming cells in the bloodstream, donors receive daily injections of a drug called filgrastim for five days before the collection.

Scott giving his stem cell donation by PBSC. Read his story HERE

While lying in bed with your arms at your sides your blood is then removed through a sterile needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. This process is similar to donating plasma. The remaining blood is returned to you. It will probably take at least two harvesting sessions, with each lasting several hours to harvest the required number of stem cells. You can even watch tv or a movie while the harvest takes place.

Discomfort is usually minimal if there is any at all. Some patients feel a feverish sensation or nausea while giving their stem cells. When this happens the aphaeresis machine is usually turned off until they feel better then the process resumes. Some donors report feeling soreness in their bones while taking the filigstrm to prepare for their donation. In most cases the side effects wear off as soon as the donation has been completed or within a day or two after.

Over 80% of bone marrow donations are now given through
a blood donation process called PBSC. This is a simplified
illustration that shows how it works.

2. Marrow Collected from the Back of the Hip Bones

Less than 30% of the time, you are asked to give stem cells through your bone marrow. The majority of bone marrow donations are for children as they experience a higher success rate from marrow rather then PBSC.

Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure. While you receive anesthesia, doctors use special, hollow needles to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bones. Many donors receive a transfusion of their own previously donated blood.

Discomfort is usually minimal but sometimes severe. It typically only lasts a few days to weeks and is most often described as soreness similar to a bruise. Some donors also experience fatigue.

How You Can Help Cristina
  1. Join Canada's www.OneMatch.ca
  2. Join the United States' www.BeTheMatch.com
  3. Join Italy's Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
  4. Click here for more registries worldwide.
  5. Ask others to join their local registries by word of mouth, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or blogging.
  6. Like Cristina's Facebook Page for updates.
  7. Follow her on Twitter and tweet #HopeForCristina
  8. Print Cristina's flyers and hang them where you work, shop, etc.

Print a Flyer

Please Share This Website:

In Canada please join One Match

One Match

Click Here to learn how to join the registry
or help spread the word to help Cristina.


Age requirements:
17 to 50 years to join

Registering is pain free, done with a cotton swab.

In the United States please join Be The Match
Be The Match

Join www.BeTheMatch.com and/or Host a drive in the US to help Cristina and the other 6000 US patients in need.

Join Now Online
by ordering a test kit

Join in Person
at a live donor drive

Age requirements:
18 to 60 years to join

Registering is pain free, done with a cotton swab.

In Italy please join the IBMDR


Italian Bone Marrow
Donor Registry

Age requirements:
18-55 years to join

Registering is pain free, done with a cotton swab.

Press and Publicity

Aiutateci, a Cristina serve un trapianto - Corriere.com


•  Social media used to find bone marrow donor - Global News (Video)

Woodbridge family uses social media in search for transplant - CBC News

Family using social media to find bone marrow match (News Video) - CityNews Toronto

Woman with rare disease needs bone morrow donor - Healthzone.ca

• Are you of Italian ancestry or know someone who is? - TheFlirtyBlog.com

Woman needs life-saving match - www.mississauga.com

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