>What exactly IS bone marrow?
Bone marrow is the flexible tissue found in the interior of bones. In humans, bone marrow in large bones produces new blood cells.
>Why is Bone Marrow transplant done?
Bone marrow produces stem cells. These stem cells eventually develop into blood cells. Bone marrow is a critical part of the body because it is the body's main blood cell "factory." If something is wrong with the marrow, a person can become very ill, even die.In diseases such as leukemia and aplastic anemia, the bone marrow is unhealthy. The purpose of a bone marrow transplant is to put healthy stem cells in place of the unhealthy ones. This can treat or even cure the disease.
> How do I become a prospective donor?
Doctors look for a donor who matches their patient's tissue type, specifically their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type.The closer the match between the patient's HLA markers and yours, the better for the patient. Prospective donors must be between the ages of 18-60 and in general good health. Testing is simple, and involves a swab of cells from the inside of the cheeks. Swabbing takes less than 5 minutes. The donor is then entered into the bone marrow registry.
> What if I match the patient? Is the Bone Marrow donation process painful?
In the past, surgery to draw marrow from the bone was the only way to collect blood stem cells. Today, however, it's more common to collect blood stem cells directly from the blood. This is called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation. PBSC donation is a non-surgical procedure done in an outpatient clinic. PBSC donors receive daily injections of a drug called filgrastim for five days, to increase the number of blood-forming cells in the bloodstream. Then, through a process called apheresis, a donor's blood is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm.
>Will donating marrow make me weak?
The amount of marrow donated will not weaken your own body or immune system. The average amount of marrow and blood donated is about one quart, less if the patient is a baby or child. This is only a fraction of your total marrow. Most donors are back to their usual routine almost immediately, and your marrow naturally replaces itself within four to six weeks.
I hope all of you will participate/spread the word and make Mygola's effort toward this drive a great success!