FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRATION

  • Who can register as a bone marrow donor?
    • Anyone between 18 and 44 years old and in general good health can register. Go to Bone Marrow Donor Health Guidelines or call the Colorado Marrow Donor Program at 1-800-619-1099 with further eligibility questions. Anyone who is between 45 and 60 and wants to register must do so online and pay a $100 fee.

    • If you cannot register as a bone marrow donor, perhaps you can help fund the cost of someone who is eligible but cannot afford to make a donation. If so, just go to Colorado Marrow Donor Program fundraising website at BeTheMatchFoundation.org to contribute toward saving a life! They are responsible for raising enough money to cover the cost of tissue typing and would very much appreciate your help!

  • How does a person donate bone marrow?
    • The doctor decides between two procedures: One involves using marrow donation, in which the donor receives anesthesia and doctors use needles to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the pelvic bone. This is an out-patient procedure and is becoming far less common than this next way to donate.

    • The more common method today is a non-surgical outpatient procedure and involves collecting circulating stem cells. The donor takes shots for five days before donation (to increase the number of blood forming cells in the blood stream). Then the stem cells are collected through a filtering of the blood as it is removed from the vein of one arm, goes through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells, and then is put back into the other arm.

In either case, the body replaces the bone marrow or stem cells very quickly…

  • Where can I find out more about registering as a bone marrow donor?
    • Just CLICK HERE and select from the videos listed below:

Painless Bone Marrow Donation: Dr. Michael Schuster explains how stem cells are collected as Alex Lee, a New York fireman, donates bone marrow at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. (2:05)

Expert on Bone Marrow Registry: The New York Blood Center`s Dr. RobertJones tells Katie Couric about the importance of having more people volunteer to donate bone marrow. (2:22)

Eye To Eye: Dr. Jeffrey Chell: Dr. Jeffrey Chell, CEO of the National Marrow Donor Program, talks with Katie Couric about why bone marrow transplants can help treat certain diseases and disorders. (5:23)

National Marrow Donor Program