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."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pia,
I heard all about you and you illness on the news today. I hope you find a match soon, and I want you to know that I am praying for you and wish you all the best.

July 3, 2004 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just learned the news of you and Tim this past weekend at the conference in Baltimore. I was honored to have been HLA Typed for you, or someone else in the Asian Community. It is so sad that our community doesn't realize the urgency of this sitiuation until it hits home. We need to proactively all work together to spread awareness of this disease.

With love and hope for the both of you.

July 5, 2004 at 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pia, there are a lot of people out here rooting for you and I will be there to get tested. Hang in there. I wish you all the best and hope you get better soon.

July 8, 2004 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pia, I'm doing my best to spread the word for you. don't know if you remember me...I met you like 10 yrs ago at a retreat. Anjali and Sandhya know me. I'm Aarti Chawla. Your parents know my dad. Anyway, hang in there and take care! I will get typed ASAP.

July 15, 2004 at 7:48 PM  

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