National Bone Marrow Donor Drive at Roswell Park

Monday, November 15, 2010

Event Date: Tuesday, November 16 – 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Location: Roswell Park Cancer Institute – Main Lobby

Marrow and blood cell transplants are used to treat leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening blood diseases. Each year more than 30,000 children and adults will be diagnosed with diseases for which a bone marrow transplant can cure, and without it will die. Only 30% will find a matching donor within their family.

  • You can help share life by becoming a bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donor.
  • A transplant involves replacing the patient’s bone marrow with healthy new blood forming cells. Someone whose tissue type matches the patients must be found.
  • How? Meet the criteria to become a donor: Age between 18 – 60 years and No history of cancer, diabetes or heart problems.
  • A simple swab of the inside of your cheek will give the necessary tissue typing information. This is then put into the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) computerized registry that records individuals who have agreed to join the registry and potentially donate marrow or stem cells. From here we are able to “match” potential donors with patients in need.
  • If you are found to be a match, donating bone marrow involves undergoing a procedure under anesthesia in which doctors use special needles to withdraw the liquid bone marrow from the donor’s pelvic bones. The donor replaces this on their own in 4-6 weeks. There is some soreness for a few days afterward. If stem cells (PBSC) are collected, the donor’s blood is withdrawn through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood forming cells. The process takes about 4 hours and the donor is awake. The donor does not have to travel to where the patient lives, as this can be done locally.
  • Donors should carefully consider their decision before joining the NMDP registry. If you are found to be a match, a last minute decision not to donate, can be life-threatening to the patient.
  • There is no cost for screening and being put in the registry the day of the drive. However, if you are unable to be a donor or if you wish to make a donation, the National Marrow Donor Program on an ongoing basis has to acquire sponsors to underwrite the cost of screening each donor which is $52.50/person. If you would like to make a donation in lieu of becoming a donor or wish to make a donation, this is a nice way to support the drive, by helping to defray the cost of another donor. Checks can be collected the day of the drive and should be made out to the National Marrow Donor Program.
  • Please consider helping to save a life by becoming a donor. If you have any questions feel free to call the event coordinators Terrie Carbone RN NP at 845-8011 or Sue Paprocki RN of the National Marrow Donor Program at 1-888-298-6571 ext 101 or www.marrow.org.
Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org