So I’m not really sure how it happened, but somehow I’ve become a bit of an advocate for the Marrow Registry (http://marrow.org/).
I don’t directly know anyone that needs marrow or anything like that. Somehow the idea got in my mind, I asked the blood bank lady about it, did a little research on my own, and ended up signing up. And now I’m going to try to get you to, too.
Peoples’ number one concern is usually, will it hurt? (and it was my first question too) The typical way that people think about donating marrow is by the long needle in the butt. And I’m not going to lie to you, that still happens some of the time. But most of the time that they do the big needle thing, you’re also under general anesthesia. You will have some back pain for a couple days afterwards, but in general, not deabilitating.
Otherwise, the majority of the time they take marrow from you like a normal blood donation. For 5 days before donation, you take some medication that increase the marrow bits in your blood, and then you donate and they do some sort of centrifugation/fractioning of your blood and return the other bits.
After reading that, I was no longer concerned about the pain/procedure, but the amount of time it will take from your schedule. Indeed the whole process could take 30-40 hrs over 4-6 weeks. And you may need to travel to where your acceptor is (but they pay for traveling costs).
Tons more information can be found at the website : http://marrow.org/
In order to donate, you just go to http://marrow.org/ and take a short health quiz and sign up (if you pass the health quiz). Then you pay a donation fee to have the cheek swab kit sent to you so that you can be added to the registry.
Here are a couple pictures from my swabbing expeditions.
If you are able, I encourage you to sign up at http://marrow.org/ . Be a match, save a life. ❤