Marrow Donor Facts


  • A patient and donor must be a close HLA match. Young donors have healthier cells and people are more likely to genetically match someone of their own race.
  • 70% of patients do not have a related donor and rely on the Be The Match registry for a potential donor.
  • Donors never pay to donate marrow.
  • Registry Process: The registry process is pain-free. A little paperwork and a simple swab of the inside of your cheek is all that is needed to be typed.
  • Donation Process:
  1. Bone Marrow Donation: liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor’s pelvic bones while under general or regional anesthesia. The donor feels no injections or pain during donation but may experience soreness in the lower-back for a couple days afterward.
  2. Peripheral Blood Cell (PBSC) Donation: removing donor’s blood by way of the arm, the blood is then run through a machine that separates the cells to be used in transplant, the remaining blood is returned to the donor’s body through their other arm.
  3. Transplant Process: Patients typically undergo chemo and radiation to destroy diseased marrow. Then, the donor’s healthy cells are given directly into the patient’s bloodstream.

View the Be the Match flier to see how many millions have registered.

Guidelines for joining the registry.

Before you join information.

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