The Marrow Donation Process

Currently, the closest Donation Center is located in Dallas, Texas. The entire donation process, including pre-donation appointments and travel time, could take up to 40 hours over a four to six week time period.

You will not be responsible for any donation-related costs. We cover medical costs and reimburse all travel expenses.

Two Ways to Donate

There are two types of donation. The patient's doctor will choose the type of donation that is best for the patient. Regardless of the donation process chosen, you will typically go home the same day.

PBSC Donation

For a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection, you will be given an injection of a protein called filgrastim each day for five days. This increases the number of stem cells released from the bone marrow into the blood stream.

On the fifth and sixth day, your stem cells are collected by a procedure called apheresis. This is the same procedure used to collect platelets from a platelet donor. During apheresis, your blood will be removed through a sterile tube and passes through an apheresis machine that separates out the stem cells. Your remaining blood components, minus the stem cells, are returned to you in another sterile tube placed into the other arm.

Marrow Donation

Marrow donation is a day surgical procedure during which you will be under anesthesia. The marrow is collected through a needle placed into the iliac crest of the pelvic bone.

For more information about the types of donation, visit the National Marrow Donor Program website.


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