Monday, July 12, 2004

New website

Please visit the new website at

Friday, July 09, 2004

To speed up the matching process for Pia ....


To speed up the matching process for Pia, 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
Re: Pia Awal
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Fax: 212-717-3318

If you do not have access to a fax machine, you can also send your results by email to Friends of Pia. Just click here.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

The Bottomline About the Donor/Matching Process for stem cell transplants

If you are like most people, you will have a few basic questions about what it means to get tested. It's natural to be unsure and perhaps even a bit apprehensive. Here are the answers to some of your FAQ's. We urge you to take a moment out of your busy days and come get tested. It is painless and would only take a few minutes of your time.

What happens?

The actual type testing is just a blood test. Potential donors give less than a tube of blood, just like in the doctor's office. So that's fast and easy. The Red Cross 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 has to undergo a couple more higher level blood tests, because compatibility is so important.

Does it hurt?

No. 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 2-5% of the donors marrow from the pelvic bone. The stem cell process is much like giving blood only you get it back less the stem cells. It is not painful. The bone marrow donation is done under local anesthesia and does not hurt. Once the anesthesia wears off, there remains dull pain for short while, but it is not nearly as painful as rumor has it. Many people mix up the process of donation with a marrow biopsy, which is indeed painful.

Can I donate?

The eligibility is similar to eligibility for blood donations but not the same: In particular, while people who have lived more than 6 months in Europe since 1980 are not eligible for blood donations, they are eligible for bone marrow donation."