Helping Tami Marrow Donor Drive

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Read Donor Info in Japanese on the Helping Yoko Website

Marrow Drives

A site to help patients in need of bone marrow or stem cell transplants learn how to publicize their donor drive efforts.

Easy tutorials with donor drive ideas that you can use online or in person for patients, family and friends.

How to Register to Become a Potential Donor

The Test is a Simple Cheek Swab
From the swab 'tissue type' or your 'HLA type' can be gathered. This string of markers is what is used to match a patient to a donor. It takes approximately 10 minutes to donate your sample, it is painless and no blood is involved.

Once your sample is sent in, all results will be added to the National Marrow Donor Program registry where Tami's tissue type can be compared to yours. If your sample isn't a match it will remain in the registry with the hope you will be able to save the life of another person in need.

The Registration Process

1) Complete a brief health questionnaire to on the AADP website to verify your eligibility to join the registry

2) Sign a form consenting to have your tissue type listed on the registry until your 61st birthday

3) Use the cheek swab kit

4) Learn the difference between the two donation methods used

Where Can You Register?

Mail-in Kit | Donor Drive | Donor Office | Private Testing | Cord Blood

Option #1
Mail-in Test Kits

Joining is easy. Patients need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 60, are in good general health, and are willing to donate to any patient in need. Register online or over the phone. The kit will be mailed to you, you'll swab your mouth with 4 cotton swabs, return them to the kit and mail it back. That's it. That's all it takes to join the National Marrow Donor Program. If you are a match you will be contacted and more extensive, formal testing will be conducted at that time

Ethnic Minorities: There is a critical need for more ethnic diversity in the national registry (Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, African American, Native American & Alaskan, National Hawaiian, Hispanic, and Multi-Racial) your tissue typing costs are completely covered by a federal grant if you are of any minority ethnicity or your descent is of mixed ethnicities.

Please call
Toll Free: 1-800-59-DONOR
Tel (510) 568-3700
or e-mail the AADP for a HOME-TEST KIT if you cannot attend a drive. They will ask you a series of questions, and then send you a kit if you qualify.

Caucasians (Non-Minorities):
To Join the NMDP registry online please CLICK HERE

This video (click here) shows how to use the mail-in swab kit:
(1 minute 43 seconds)

This is how easy it is to use the home test kit:

Each kit contains 4 swabs.

4 bar code stickers are also included. Each sticker is attached to the end of a swab.

For 10 seconds each swab is gently rubbed on a specific location inside of your mouth.

After rubbing the swab inside of your mouth it is placed into the paper divider that comes with the kit.

Mail the kit back as soon as possible. Your swabs will be analyzed and the results will be added to the national database.

You will be contacted if your results are a match for anyone in the world.


Option #2

Locate a LIve Drive Anywhere in the U.S. on the Be The Match Website (CLICK HERE)

Attend a Local, AADP Bay Area, Donor Drive (Click Here)

Attend a National DKMS Donor Drive (Click Here)

Testing is free to all thanks to Federal Grants and fund raising.

Joining is easy. Patients need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 60, in good general health, and are willing to donate to any patient in need.

Option #3
Visit a donor office in person

Contact a Marrow Donor Program or your local blood center to see if they offer testing at a fixed location. Not all offices are prepared to offer the kits so for instance, your general practioner most likely will not have any marrow registration kits on hand.

Option #4
Private Testing
This is the fastest way to be tested and is also the only way to only be tested for one specific person. If you donate through the AADP or a national donor drive your results will be entered into the national database and will be kept on record to potentially be matched by every person ever in need.

You can contact a local blood bank/center or hospital to learn if they offer private testing and what their rates are.

Online you can use Bone Marrow Here is their website's current pricing for private tests and the turnaround time to receive your results:

Cost for a 7-10 day result is $175

Cost for a 2-4 day result is $375

International testing requires an additional $150 fee for shipping, customs, etc. Results are sent directly to the patient's treatment hospital and you receive a hard copy in the mail for your own records.

If you're HLA sample meets the critieria to be a "Preliminary Match" the subsequent "Formal" or "Confirmative" testing costs somewhere in the neighborhood of an additional $3000 which may or may not be covered by your insurance.

A fifth way to donate into the registry exists

Donate Umbilical Cord Blood:
In the past, when a baby was born, the umbilical cord was thrown away. But today, blood from the umbilical cord can be collected after your baby's birth and donated to a public cord blood bank to help someone with a life-threatening disease. (more info here)


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