By joining the registry, I understand that…
① I am willing to donate to any patient in need.
While many drives are performed in honor of a specific individual, the power of the bone marrow registry is that all donors commit to being available to all patients seeking a marrow donor. This means that a drive hosted in honor of single individual can save not only the life of that person, but potentially tens or hundreds of other individuals that person has never met.
② The cheek swab I give at a registration drive is only used to add me to the registry; it is not a donation for a patient.
The cheek swab collected at donor registration drives is sent away to a medical facility for processing, at which point the specific DNA markers required for marrow matching are entered into the registry’s computer system. If it turns out that you are a match for a patient, a Be The Match representative will contact you regarding proceeding with a marrow donation. [Click here to learn more about the types of marrow donations]
③ I will be listed on the registry until I am 61, unless I inform Be the Match that I would like to remove myself for any reason.
If you later become unwilling or unable to donate for any reason, it is very important to let Be The Match know as soon as possible to prevent false-positive donor matches. Be The Match can be contacted at 1-(800)-MARROW-2.
If I am called as a possible match for a patient…
① I agree to contact Be The Match as quickly as possible once I receive the notification that I am a match.
Finding and securing potential matches in the registry are lengthy processes and due to the serious nature of the sicknesses involved both the patient and the donor need to move quickly. It’s impossible to know ahead of time if you are the only possible match or one of several possible matches that BTM must evaluate, so contacting them as soon as possible is extremely important.
② I will be willing to give a blood sample for further testing.
The blood sample is used to confirm the match with the patient.
③ If I am the best match, I will be asked to make a 20-30 hour time commitment over 4-6 weeks. I will not pay any costs.
The “20 to 30 hour time commitment” causes many people to hesitate, but please keep in mind it is over four to six weeks. The 30 to 40 hours also accounts for all phone conversations, appointments, and even travel time. BTM understands that people are busy and have many commitments and will work around your schedule to make the donation process as easy as possible.
All costs associated with donation, even travel costs (if necessary), are fully covered by Be The Match.
④ The patient’s doctor will request either a PBSC or marrow donation, depending on what’s best for the patient.
The peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) and marrow donation processes are described in detail here. While PBSC is used in 76% of cases, depending on factors like age and severity of the patient’s sickness a marrow donation may be requested.
- If I donate peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC), I will receive injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of blood-forming cells in my bloodstream.
- If I donate marrow, anesthesia will be used.
I promise to…
① Keep my contact information up to date with Be The Match.
② Share my decision to join the registry with family and friends so I have their support if called as a match.