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ChocolateCoveredStarfish's avatar

I want to be a bone marrow donor, but I don't know if I can?

Asked by ChocolateCoveredStarfish (222 points ) June 19th, 2011

I have always wanted to donate my bone marrow. I have many friends who have had a bone marrow transplant – and it saved their lives. I want to be able to do this for someone, but I’m not sure I can… I am a cancer survivor but I have been in remission for 10+ years. I am 18 and I am very thin and have had blood transfusions (for this reason cannot donate blood). I have had chemo and radiation. Does anyone know the requirement for bone marrow donation or if my situation disqualifies me from it?

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9 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m a cancer survivor, too, and I was with the bone marrow registry, but they booted me off after I’d had treatment. This site can give you relevant information (if you are in the USA) and there is contact info as well.

ChocolateCoveredStarfish's avatar

@JilltheTooth, thanks. I’ll take a look at that site (although I’m in Canada). Do you think after a certain time has passed since treatment they’d allow you to donate?

Mariah's avatar

Just so you know, having blood transfusions doesn’t mean you’re banned from donating blood for life, unless you had them in certain countries. See here under “Blood transfusion.”

I can’t help with your actual question, but I wanted to say that I think your desire is very noble. I’m 19 and have also received blood, so I feel very passionately about these sorts of donations as well.

Edit: Oh, you’re in Canada; my link was for America. The rules may be different in Canada, I don’t know!

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ChocolateCoveredStarfish : They told me that I was off the registry for life because of the cancer, but that was ten years ago, I don’t know if things have changed. I guess I’ll look back into that! I’m sure Canada has a Registry also.

JilltheTooth's avatar

This might be a good place to start.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Different registers have different (the 2 in the UK have certainly do). Most cancers would exclude you but not all so it’s worth asking. You also say you’re very thin and a low BMI might exclude you as well as a low body weight increases the risk to you while reducing the amount they can harvest.

Even if you can’t register to donate you can still help raising awareness (and money – a lot of bone marrow registers are charities).

BarnacleBill's avatar

I agree with @Lightlyseared. You can make it a mission to recruit others, and actively work at that.

_zen_'s avatar

@ChocolateCoveredStarfish Welcome to fluther. You and @JilltheTooth are heroes in my book, just saying.

skfinkel's avatar

There are many ways to help others if you want—donating your actual bone marrow is only one. If you are not allowed to do that for health reasons, why not volunteer your time in a blood bank center? or volunteer in a hospital in some way?

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