Be the Match is coming to Comedy for the Cure… Again
Be The Match Mission:
Be The Match Registry services patients in need of a marrow transplant who do not have a matching donor in their family. These patients need to find a matching unrelated donor that is willing to donate stem cells on their behalf.
Who does Be The Match service?
Be The Match helps the 10,000 patients a year that suffer from leukemia, lymphoma or a variety of bone marrow functioning diseases that need a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. Only 30% of patients in need of a marrow transplant have a matching donor in their family.
What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside of the bones that produces all of the body’s blood cells. When a donation takes place, we are targeting the blood stem cells the bone marrow produces. Blood stem cells are blood cells in their infancy; they have not become a red cell, platelet or white cell yet.
How does someone register?
A consent form is filled out consisting of basic contact information, alternate contact information and some medical evaluation questions. A cheek swab sample is then given from the inside of the mouth. If the donor has health insurance from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut or New Hampshire, the donor’s insurance information is taken at the time of registration. RI, MA, CT & NH have all passed state legislation requiring health insurance companies in those states to cover the cost of the HLA typing. We charge $112 for the typing and processing of the swabs. If a donor has insurance from a different state or does not have insurance; our sponsor, Michael’s Fund of Fall River, covers the HLA typing cost.
From the cheek swab samples, a lab performs HLA typing and the donor’s HLA typing is posted on the Be The Match Registry. The donor is contacted if they ever look like a potential match for a patient in need.
What happens if someone is a potential match?
At that time a blood sample is taken and a series of health history questions are asked. The blood sample is then sent to the transplant center where the patient is receiving their treatment. Further HLA typing is done and it is determined from the blood sample whether or not the donor is the best match for the patient.
How does a donor donate?
A. 75% of the time donors donate peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). This is a non-surgical, out-patient procedure. The donor receives an injection daily for 5 days of a drug that increases the number of blood stem cells in the blood stream. On the 5th day, the donor’s blood is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor in the other arm.
B. 25% of the time donors donate through a surgical procedure which is usually an out-patient procedure. The donor is under anesthesia and the doctor uses a needle & syringe to withdraw the blood stem cells from the back of the pelvic bone.
**Donors have the final say as to which collection method is used.
Find out more before the event http://marrow.org/Home.aspx