Alan Bukzin Memorial
Bone Marrow Drive
Bone Marrow Facts
- Every year, 12,000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases need a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor, but only half receive one.
- 70% of all patients who need a bone marrow transplant have no donor match in their family.
- Bone marrow donation is a proven way to save lives
- Be the Match started in 1987 with two unrelated marrow transplants. In 2009, they facilitated more than 4,800.
- Patients in need of bone marrow transplants rely on the kindness of strangers, and hope to find a donor in the Be the Match registry.
- Half of all patients receive the treatment they need.
- Bone marrow transplant is considered a CURE for life-threatening blood cancers.
- If you are between the ages of 18 & 44, patients need you. Doctors choose registry members between 18 & 44 more than 90% of the time.
- Donors between the age of 18 and 44 provide the greatest chance for transplant success
- All donors are carefully prescreened to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them
- Donors never have to pay for marrow
- There are two methods of donation: peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) and bone marrow. The patient's doctor chooses the donation method that is best for the patient. 75% of the time, donors are asked to donate through PBSC.
- PBSC donation is a nonsurgical procedure and the most common way to donate. For 5 days leading up to donation, you will be given injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of cells in your bloodstream that are used for transplant. Some of your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm.
- Bone marrow donation is a surgical, usually outpatient procedure. You will receive anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone.
- Though no medical procedure is without risk, there are rarely any long-term side effects donating either PBSC or bone marrow. Your cells replenish themselves in 4 to 6 weeks
- Because only 1 to 5% five percent or less of your marrow is needed to save the patient’s life, your immune system stays strong.
- We reimburse travel costs and may reimburse other costs on a case-by-case basis.
- Our on-site school health center is trained to assist with pre-donation testing.
- All medical costs for the donation procedure are covered by us or by the patient’s medical insurance.
- If a Black, Latino, Native American or Asian child, for example, needed a bone marrow transplant to live, that child would have a less than 18% chance of finding a match.
- All it takes to join the registry is a quick cheek swab. It is completely painless and takes less than 5 minutes.
Our organization is in partnership with Be The Match.