I have a serious question to ask you, if you are between the ages 17-35(Canada) or 18-44(USA) – (Don’t ask me why they have different ages. However, research shows that males between the ages of 17-35 are the optimal donors.), Are you on the Stem Cell Registry? If not, do you know how to get on it? Are you scared to donate? Do you have questions?

Kevin NEEDS a stem cell donor ASAP. So I am trying to raise awareness about getting on that donor list, not just for him… but for any one of the thousands of people who are waiting for a donor… otherwise they will die. YOU can possibly save a life. You could be that perfect match.

The registration process starts online… Once you pass the online registration, a swabbing kit will be sent to your home. You follow the instructions and you send back the kit. That’s it. You are done. Then you wait for your registration letter in the mail.

Buccal-Swab-kit-inside-big

The cheek swab kit will be similar to the one shown above that I found on Google Images.

Here is the registration site for Canada: http://onematch.com/
Here is the registration site for USA: http://bethematch.org/

By the way, they search the lists world wide when someone needs a transplant. So even if you are in Canada, you could save a life in the USA or any other part of the world!

If you are called to be donor, you NEED to follow through with your commitment. If you are selected as a patient’s MATCH, you will be tested thoroughly to make sure you are healthy enough for the procedure. The donation takes place at a transplant centre nearest you and all of your travel/accomodations are covered. You do not travel to the patient! lol Some people believe that. I did. So if you are here in Kingston, you will travel to Toronto or Ottawa.

80% of the time, the stem cells are collected from your blood and the procedure is similar to donating blood. Blood is extracted from one arm, processed through a machine that extracts the cells and then the blood is returned to the donor’s body through the other arm. This procedure takes a few hours and you are done.

Click on the screenshot below to see more images and for more information/resources:

Peripheral Stem Cell Donation

20% of the time, the stem cells are collected from the bone marrow in the donor’s pelvic bones. This is done as a surgery. NO they do not remove pieces of your bone, NO they do not touch or remove a part of your spine.

Click on the screenshot below to see more images and for more information/resources:

Bone marrow stem cell donation

Side effects from both procedures are relatively minimal. Some experience fatigue, mild headache, mild pain and/or bruising. But most donors resume regular activities immediately after donation! One thing I can tell you is that the side effects of donation are nothing in comparison to what a bone marrow patient must go through!

Do you have any other questions about stem cell donation? If so, please ask in the comments and I will get you the answers! Here is an awesome video for you to watch from Be The Match. I will be sharing a lot of different information and resources while I have the time to do so! Thanks for stopping by!

Are you ready to get on the list?!

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