How To Donate Bone Marrow

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A bone marrow transplant can be a life-saving treatment for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases. Donating has gotten easier and less painful within recent years, as CBS News anchor Katie Couric reported.

Becoming part of the national registry of bone marrow donors is as simple as getting a cheek swab, and should you be a match to someone with a life-threatening disease, donating your marrow can sometimes be as simple as donating blood.

To read one woman's personal story about how a donor's blood saved the life of her daughter, visit Katie's blog.

Bone Marrow Donation Resources

  • For a complete how-to-donate information sheet, including links for both donors and patients and FAQs, visit the National Bone Marrow Donor Program or call 1-800-MARROW-2.
  • The first step for potential bone marrow donors is to join the registry.
  • Learn about the health guidelines necessary to join the bone marrow donation registry.
  • Another way to help: Donate your Northwest Airlines frequent flier miles. The NMDP uses these frequent flyer miles to fly unrelated marrow and cord blood transplant recipients and their caregivers to their transplant centers.
  • Check out the Community Blood Center.
  • The group People Living With Cancer has a thorough information sheet on donating bone marrow.
  • Check out the Web site of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Information Network or call 888-597-7674.
  • The National Bone Marrow Transplant Link is another resource, as is the Bone Marrow Foundation.
  • To learn more about the diseases that can be treated with bone marrow transplants, visit the Web site of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or call 914-949-5213 or 800-955-4572.
  • Learn what to expect when you donate marrow from the Mayo Clinic.