May 15, 2015

Be The Match: Q and A From a Stem Cell Donor Children's Health Pharmacy Technician, Rafael Pacheco, answers some questions about being a stem cell donor as part of the Be The Match program.

Children's HealthSM will be hosting its 24th annual Be The Match registry drive on Monday, Feb. 16. Joining the Be The Match registry is easy and painless. And when you join the registry, you are one step closer to saving a life.

Check out the registry drive times and locations near you.


In 2013, we interviewed a Pharmacy Technician from Children’s named Rafael Pacheco about his experience donating stem cells as part of the Be The Match program. Here’s a Q&A about what he thinks about the stem cell donation process and why he’s glad to be a donor.

Q. Why did you decide to sign up for the Be the Match Registry?

A. I felt like my donation could potentially give a patient in need a fighting chance at life.  

Q. How long did it take you to get called to donate?

A. It was 13 years between the time I registered and when I was called and asked to donate. Note that according to Be The Match, there is no guaranteed timetable for when registered donors could be contacted.

Q. Were you afraid to donate after you received the call?

A. I was a little nervous, but the procedure went really well.  

Q. What kind of donation did you give?

A. I donated peripheral blood stem cells.  

Q. How long did it take to donate stem cells?

A. The stem cell donation lasted about eight hours. After they got me hooked up, it was easy, and I was able to catch up on some movies I had missed.  

Q. Did it hurt to donate stem cells?

A. Not really. I had some tingling around my mouth and fingers, but they warned me about that before we started, so I knew it was normal. They gave me some calcium, and the tingling went away.

Q. Did you hurt the following week after donating?

A. I felt a little achy after donating, but it was nothing that interrupted my life. Besides, I kept reminding myself the patient receiving my donation had gone through much worse, and that makes it all worth it.

Q. After knowing what it takes to donate stem cells, would you do it again?

A. Absolutely. I would definitely do it all over again.