Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bone marrow donors save lives, too

Sometimes as a heart recipient, I get caught up in the life-saving aspects of organ donation and inadvertently fail to put the same amount of emphasis on tissue donation. Tissue donation typically improves the quality of life for a patient through bone, ligament, and cornea donations. However, through bone marrow donation it can have the same life-saving impact as organ donation.

Logo of National Marrow Donor ProgramThousands of Americans suffer from life-threatening diseases each year in which their only chance for survival is a bone marrow transplant. These diseases include lymphoma and leukemia and finding a matching donor can often be difficult. There is no waiting list for a bone marrow transplant as there is with an organ transplant, and the right match is often found with a donor outside the patient's family. This is where the National Marrow Donor Program and the Be the Match Registry come into play.

Currently, over 9 million Americans have registered as bone marrow donors. The registration process is very simple. All you have to do is fill out some paperwork and have the inside of your cheek swabbed, and you're done. From there, you are placed on the national registry based upon your tissue type. Then, if you are a potential match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant, registry personnel will contact you.

If you would like to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, please visit the Be the Match / National Marrow Donor Program website by clicking here or by calling 1-800-Marrow2 (1-800-627-7692). It's another way to give back and save lives.

Source : article titled Be the Match Registry Matches Donors with Marrow Transplant Patients
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