How to Become a Stem Cell Donor

The transplant of stem cells of a healthy person to someone having blood cancer can be the only way for the survival of the patient if the type of their tissues is compatible. These stem cells are collected from the bloodstream, blood from the umbilical cord or bone marrow. The information provided here under can help in determining whether you can be a stem cell transplant or not.

Eligibility for donating stem cells

  • You can be a stem cell donor if you have good health and are aged between 16 and 30 years
  • The compatibility of the tissue types of the donor and patient can be found through a blood test instead of doing bone marrow biopsy or taking any tissue from the body of the donor.

To ensure the compatibility of the tissues of the donor and the patient, it is not necessary to match the type of their blood. Certain special markers in the blood of the patient are matched with the markers in the blood of the donor. The donor can donate the stem cells if the markers of the patient and that of the donor are the same.

From where stem cells are collected

The type of tissues of the patient and donor is determined by the genetic information of both the parents as everyone has tissues of a unique type. The type of tissues is different for every individual in this world unless two persons are twins and identical. The chances of matching tissue types between the siblings are almost 25% as every child inherits half genes from his father and a half from his mother.  Actually, genes of nearly 30% of siblings match for donating stem cells.

Other options to collect stem cells

  • Though identical twins can donate stem cells to each other but it is very uncommon
  • The tissue types of patient and donor should match even if they are unrelated
  • Blood from the umbilical cord can also be used to collect stem cells through a program for banking cord blood.

Join the stem cell registry

In order to become a stem cell donor, you will have to join an online register. When you fill-up an online form then you will be provided with a swab pack by post. You will have to send it back to the register after completing it so that you can be registered as a stem cell donor.

Until you are aged to 61 years you will remain on the donor’s register. You will be contacted to donate stem cells if your stem cells match with some patients. So you should update your details whenever required.

The organizers of the register will take care of everything from accommodation to traveling expenses whenever you will be called for donating stem cells.

You will be asked to donate stem cells in two ways: through your bloodstream or from your bone marrow transplant. Usually, people prefer to donate stem cells through their bloodstream but you can also donate it through your bone marrow under general anesthesia.

Contact US:

Gift of Life Marrow Registry

Address: 800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL
Phone: (800) 962-7769