Friday, May 7, 2010

My Aunt Lisa has been wonderful and has worked closely with Rickey and DJ from the Hall to set up both a Blood Drive and a Stem Cell Donor Drive for dad!! We CANNOT thank them all enough!!!  Your love and support means the WORLD to our family and to dad!!

The blood drive will be in the brown building behind the Union Hall on the 1st floor - Room 115 - 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm /Monday, May 10th and Thursday, May 13th.  The Union  Hall is located at 2541 North Arnoult Rd., Metairie, La.
The bone marrow registration drive will again be in the same site from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, May 11th and Wednesday, May 121th.

The criteria for donating blood and for becoming a stem cell donor are different.  

Here is a link to the guidelines for donating stem cells:

Also, the procedures and time frames are different as well.  To donate blood the process takes approx 45 mins to an hour while the stem cell registry process is more like 15 minutes and only involves you filling out some paperwork and swabbing the inside of your mouth and sealing the sample in an envelope.  So far, we have more people signed up for the blood drive on Monday than we do on Thursday so if Thursday works for you that may be the better night to donate - though we WELCOME you either night!! :) 

If you are either ineligible to donate blood or join the stem cell donor registry or don't feel led to, but you are still looking for a way to help then we are also looking for monetary donations to help cover the cost of the drives and the testing for the stem cell donor tests which runs about $100 per person tested.  So, any donations would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Here are some commonly asked questions about becoming a Stem Cell Donor:

Who can be a Bone Marrow Donor?

Anyone in good health and between the ages of 18 and 60  You cannot donate if you had AIDS; rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia; bleeding problems such as hemophilia, TTP or aplastic anemia; heart disease; Hepatitis B or C or confirmed hepatitis test; chronic kidney problems; organ or bone marrow transplant recipient in the past year; active pulmonary TB, diabetes or a chronic back problem.   It is recommended that you not join if you are extremely overweight.

Is there a cost?

Financial donations are needed to help defray costs for testing the swabs, maintaining the donor file and completing donor match research when needed.   Donations of up to $25.00 are suggested payable to "Marrow Foundation",  a 501 ( c ) 3 nonprofit organization.

  1.       If I am a match is there any further costs?


A.        All costs will be billed to the patient. 

What does it involve to register as a donor?

You will complete a questionnaire, consent form and then a sample will be taken by means of a mouth swabThis will then be sent to the bone marrow registry.  If you are accepted, your name will remain in the registry until you reach 61.

If I am a match, what happens?

  1.       The bone marrow registry will make arrangements for you to come to give another sample to see if   

    you match the patient – usually two tubes of blood are needed.  Then if you are match, the procedure will be set up to donate your bone marrow. There are no fees.  You can also say "no" at anytime.

    How is bone marrow donated?

    Either by a peripheral blood stem cell donation or 2 tablespoons of bone marrow from the donor's pelvic bone. 

    For a peripheral donation, the donor receives one injection of Filgrastim each day for 4-5 days.  Filgrastrim is a drug that increases the number of stem cells released from the bone marrow into the blood stream.  The stem cells are collected from the blood stream through a process called apheresis.

    The donation is done at a local hospital or donor center.   Your blood is removed through a sterile

    needle placed in a vein in one arm and passed through an apheresis machine that separates out the stem cell.  The remaining blood, minus the stem cells, is returned through a sterile needle placed in a vein in the other arm.

    For a bone marrow donation from the pelvic bone, you are admitted to the hospital and given either a    

    general or regional anesthesia.  The procedure lasts between 45-90 minutes. Your marrow regenerates itself within several weeks..   You will experience some minor pain in the lower back for several days after donation which can be treated by taking an aspirin or non-aspirin product.   There are minimal risks involved

    For further info, go to "Be the" or call 1/800/366-6710, Ext 0 for "live" answer.

I know that was a lot of info at once - please do NOT hesitate to comment on this post with questions and I will make sure you get answers!!  Or if you would like to email me directly my email is - Please help us to spread the word and get as much participation and support as possible!

Love to ALL!

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