Stem Cell Donation

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Donating stem cells saves lives. Whether you’re donating for a loved one or a stranger, your gift has the chance to create a huge impact for someone living with leukemia or other cancer.

Ways to Donate Stem Cells

You can donate your stem cells:

  • Directly from your bone marrow
  • Through blood saved from an umbilical cord, after you've given birth

We can also perform a stem cell transplant using a patient's own cells. We gather stem cells from blood or bone in this autologous transplant. In some cases, this approach doesn't work, and we need a donor.

Pre-Donation Testing

Before you can donate your stem cells, you’ll get several tests, including:

  • Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing, which matches the HLA proteins in your body to the potential recipient
  • A check for genetic or infectious disease

Allogenic Stem Cell Donation

Bone marrow donation requires surgery and anesthesia. We’ll make small cuts in your skin in the area where we’ll remove the marrow. We then insert a large needle through the cuts and into the center of your bone, usually the pelvis. We extract the marrow through the needle.

This process takes about 1 - 2 hours. It can cause soreness. Full recovery can take a couple weeks. Pregnant women don't qualify for this procedure.

Umbilical Cord Blood Donation

You can donate your baby’s umbilical cord blood to a public cord blood bank after giving birth. Umbilical cords generate stem cells that form blood. We can freeze and save this blood for future use or for donation.

Donating your baby's umbilical cord blood to a public cord blood bank is:

  • Free
  • Painless
  • Safe
  • Anonymous

Cord blood offers several benefits to people needing a stem cell transplant. Choosing cord blood for a bone marrow transplant means:

  • Quicker transplants, since doctors can access the blood from a bank immediately, instead of searching for a living donor
  • Treatment for people with rare tissue types, since cord blood doesn't need to match closely with donor tissue in order to work 
  • Less risk of rejection by the transplant recipient

Sign Up as a Stem Cell Donor

You can get started by: