Saturday, June 26, 2004

Fielding some of your FAQs

Please Spread the Word

The response to our appeal for help has been very positive. Many prospective donors have questions about the criteria for potential donors and the process of testing.

Frequently Asked Questions concerning eligibility for, and the process of, bone marrow donations are comprehensively answered here, but following is a brief summary:

*Grant money makes it also possible that non-caucasian donors are tested for free.
*The testing requires no bone marrow at all, just a vial of blood - like what you give during annual physical examinations. It's fast and easy.
*The National Marrow Donor Program does the tissue typing, and puts the donor in a national registry. If there ever is a match between a patient and a potential donor, the donor will be contacted. The donor will undergo a few higher level blood tests, because exact compatibility is so important.
*Should everything turn out right, the actual donation can be done in two ways: one is to harvest stem cells from the blood of the donor, the other is to draw roughly 6-9% of the donor’s marrow from the pelvic bone. This is done under local anesthesia and does not hurt. Once the anesthesia wears off, there remains a dull pain for a short while, but it is not nearly as painful as rumors have it (many people mix up the process of donation with a marrow biopsy, which is indeed painful). The marrow is easily replenished by your body.
*The eligibility is similar to that for blood donations but not the same: for example, people who have lived more than 6 months in Europe since 1980 are not eligible for blood donations, but they are eligible for bone marrow donation. There are further differences. Most importantly, the donor has to be between 18 to 61 years old.

Many have also expressed an interest in initiating blood test centers in their geographic area, whether that be California, Boston, or Chicago. Please contact
Mr. Mausam Khan of SAMAR (South Asian Marrow Assocation of Recruiters) 718-592-0821. If you can get more than ten people to volunteer to get tested, SAMAR will coordinate with the local Red Cross to set up a testing center in your area.

Last, but not least, to speed up the matching process for Pia, you can request a copy of your 'HLA typing' when you get tested. Please ask on the day how you can best obtain this information. When you have your HLA typing (it might take 4 - 6 weeks), please fax it directly to Sinda Lee at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Make it clear that you are sending the fax in relation to patient Pia Awal. She will check whether or not
you are a potential match.

The fax details are:
Attn: Sinda Lee, Transplant Coordinator
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Fax: 212-717-3318


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Chuck Inn ... saw a post about this site from another site named

Hope things work out for u ... here is wishing u good luck.

Wondering one thing. How come u r not searching matches in India and these blood matching campaigns etc r only happening in the US of A. I know u r in the US of A and even if u get a match, the medical procedures would be carried out in the US ... but life is important ... searching similarly in India ... and if u find someone with a correct match, fly him/her out for the actual medical procedure.

Just my thought ... sorry that I can't help more.


Chuck Inn (

July 2, 2004 at 4:13 AM  
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