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Give the Gift of Life: Donate Bone Marrow or Stem Cells

Thousands of patients with blood cancers need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the United States. This includes many of your friends and neighbors in Florida. The first step in making a donation is to register with the Be The Match Registry (www.marrow.org). It is here that doctors at FHCI search to find donors for our patients. It’s easy to register. Start by signing up online with the registry. If you match a patient, you will be contacted by a registry representative to see if you are willing to donate and if you are, you will be asked about your health and scheduled for more testing, which includes additional screening and a physical examination For more information about donating bone marrow or stem cells in Orlando, or to schedule an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

Ways to Donate Bone Marrow or Stem Cells

There are two methods of donating bone marrow or stem cells. The patients doctor will determine which method is best suited to treat their condition. A Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation is a non-surgical procedure that is conducted at a local blood center or the outpatient clinic. For five days leading up to the donation you’ll be given filgrastim, a drug that increases the number of blood-forming cells. During the stem cell donation procedure, your blood is removed via a needle, much like a regular blood donation. The blood is then passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells, then returned to your body. Your own blood-forming cells will be back to normal levels in four to six weeks. For more information about donating bone marrow or stem cells in Orlando, or to schedule an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

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How a Bone Marrow Donation Works

If bone marrow is required, you will be scheduled for an outpatient procedure at the hospital. You will be under anesthesia during the procedure and won’t feel any pain during the donation. A needle is used to draw the liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone. Your own marrow levels will return to normal within four to six weeks.

Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donors can expect to have a headache or bone and muscle aches for several days before collection due to the filgrastim. Most PBSC donors are completely recovered after two weeks. Marrow donors will have some soreness in their lower back for a few days after their donation. You should feel completely recovered within three weeks of your donation. For more information about donating bone marrow or stem cells, visit www.marrow.org.

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Schedule an Appointment

Contact one of our Cancer Care Coordinators to schedule an appointment at FHCI, or to learn more information about donating bone marrow or stem cells in Orlando. You can call a coordinator at (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

 

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