Why become a donor?
Blood cancer can be cured by a blood stem cell, marrow or cord blood transplantation if a suitable donor can be found. Although there are already many donors, there is still a need for more because for 40% of patients we are not able to find a matched donor, especially for patients with mixed-race or from ethnic minorities suitable donors are lacking. Becoming a donor is relatively easy and you will be joining the millions of donors already registered.
How to become a donor?
If you meet the criteria below, you may register as a donor with one of the national organisations. It may take weeks, months or years before you’re found to be the one match for a patient in need and give them a second chance at life. When you’re found to be a match, you will be contacted by the registry. If you are medically cleared to donate, and willing to proceed with the donation, you will be asked to donate your stem cells collected from the bloodstream or from the pelvis. Your donated stem cells will be transported to the patient and will be infused into the patient.
There are several criteria that may affect your eligibility to become a donor:
- Where you live: unfortunately, not every country has an established network for recruiting donors. You can see if your country has a network for donor recruitment on the map below.
- Age: this depends on local regulations and policy in your country (most countries: 18-60 years old). Check your country’s registry website to see if you are allowed to register as a donor.
- Health: if you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease or a blood disorder, you will not be eligible to donate. To determine this, you will be asked to fill in a donor health questionnaire.
- Weight: most countries have weight criteria. In general, a BMI of no greater than 40kg/m2 is considered acceptable.
Find out which organisation is active in your country and whether you are eligible to be a donor through the tool below.