How to Become a Bone Marrow Donor

Last week, I lost a 38-year old friend, Michelle Allen, to breast cancer and there was nothing anyone could have done to save her.  Nothing.  Some people, like Nina Louie (www.savenina.com), are suffering from life threatening blood cancers and they CAN be saved… by you or I.  If you could save a life, literally save a life, wouldn’t you?

I do not know Nina personally but I am friends with her cousins and old roommate.  Nina has a rare form of lymphoma and she is urgently searching for a bone marrow donor match to save her life.  Her friends and family have been actively spreading the word to ask people to get typed and join the bone marrow donor registry.  If you are like me, then maybe you have never been typed before.  In fact, I didn’t even know what getting “typed” meant until a few days ago.

Let me show you how easy it is to get typed and to join the bone marrow donor registry.  Maybe instead of just wanting to help people, join me and take this easy step to really help someone.

How to Become a Bone Marrow Donor

* Find a Be the Match Registry Drive near you: http://marrow.org/Join/Join_in_Person/Join_in_Person.aspx

Just enter your zip code to see the closest registry drives to your location.

OR

* Sign up online to join the Be the Match Registry and receive a Free Home Typing Kit: http://marrow.org/Join/Join_Now/Join_Now.aspx

All you have to do is fill out a basic questionnaire that collects information about who you are.  You will also enter your shipping address to order a free home typing kit that will be delivered to you.

Be the Match Home Typing Kit

Your Be the Match Home Typing Kit.

1) Receive your Be the Match Home Typing Kit in the mail!  It includes:

– a Confidential Donor Information Form

– a Buccal Swab Kit

– a pre-stamped envelope for you to return the Donor Form and Swab Kit

– a Registration Card for you to keep

Be the Match Donor Information Form

A questionnaire collecting some basic information about you.

2) Fill out the Confidential Donor Information Form

There are three fold-out pages with just some basic questions to answer about yourself. 

Be the Match Donor Signature

Don’t forget to sign the back of the information form (I almost did!).

3) Follow the instructions on your swab kit (Swallow saliva, open mouth, swab inside of cheek for 10 seconds, label swab and put in cardboard holder.  Do 4x in all.).

Be the Match does a great job clearly writing and illustrating all the steps to swabbing your cheek.  You get 4 swabs (for the upper right, lower right, upper left, and lower left inside cheeks), and they even provide a foam insert for you to place the swabs on.  Very clear and organized.

Be the Match Swab Kit

All the directions on how to swab your cheek are clearly given in words and pictures.

4) Mail the Confidential Donor Information Form and Buccal Swab Kit back in the pre-stamped envelope.

The only thing you keep is the registration card.  Done! 

Be the Match Return Envelope

My return envelope was pre-stamped for Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches.

The whole process probably took 10 minutes.  If you have not registered to be a part of the Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry, please consider doing so.  You really can make a difference, a huge difference.

For more information about what happens if you match a patient on the registry, please click here: http://marrow.org/Registry_Members/Donation/Steps_of_Donation.aspx