Become a Bone Marrow Donor; Save a Life | Health
While volunteering this past weekend with WZZM13 and our “Make a Difference Day” event on the GVSU campus in Allendale, I was surprised to realize how little I really knew about bone marrow transplants. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same.
The main thing I learned was that 75% of the time, if you needed a bone marrow transplant, your immediate family would not qualify, meaning they would not be a match. That is when you turn to a place such as Michigan Blood. They are also connected to the National Registry.
People who are ages 18 – 44 are the most sought-after potential donor. It is a very simple procedure, filling out a form and doing 4 mouth swabs, the results of which will be added to the national bone marrow registry. This takes a few weeks, and just because you make it to the registry, this does not mean you will be called. Doctors look for the closest possible match between the donor and the recipient because that has greatest likelihood of working out for the patient.
The simplest and most common way of doing most bone marrow transplants is similar to donating blood. Only in a few, rare cases do they have to do a more invasive procedure to collect a marrow donation. Regardless of the potential discomfort and slight inconvenience, the donation of bone marrow has the potential to save a life.