A Chance to Save A Life
For those suffering from blood disorders caused by benzene exposure, such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and acute myelogenous leukemia, bone marrow stem cell transplants can be a life saving therapy. May is National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) month, is a great time to consider a life saving marrow donation. For the entire month the usual $52 fee for eligibility testing through the NMDP will be waived.
Modern Marrow Donation
Patients in need of bone marrow transplants require the living stem cells found in healthy bone marrow. While bone marrow transplants of yesteryear involve minor surgery to remove marrow from the hip bones of a donor, today’s procedure is far less invasive. The current method, peripheral blood stem cell donation, involves a shot which draws some of the needed stem cells out of the marrow and into the blood. The stem cells are then filtered from the blood. Though the procedure no longer involves actual bone marrow, most still call it a bone marrow donation.
The most likely match for a successful bone marrow stem cell transplant is a full brother or sister of the recipient. Other family members, or even complete strangers may be a match. The NMDP has a database of volunteers willing to donate their bone marrow to strangers.
For more information on becoming a bone marrow stem cell donor visit the National Marrow Donor Program website at: www.marrow.org/.