Feel Good. Save a Life. Marrow Program
Each year, more than 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia, whose best or only hope of a cure is a marrow transplant from someone outside their family.
Only 30% of patients in the U.S. in need of a marrow transplant have a matching donor in their family. So, 70% depend on marrow programs such as Oklahoma Blood Institute’s (OBI) marrow program and others affiliated with BeThe Match® to find a donor.
How Do I Register?
Registry in the marrow program offers you the unique opportunity to give a life-saving marrow transplant to someone in need. The entire process takes only about 10-15 minutes. Registrants who are committed must also:
- be 18-44 years old and, meet health guidelines,
- complete a registration form with contact information for registrant and two family members or friends who can be reached in the future, in case registrant’s address changes,
- answer health questions,
- sign an agreement to join the registry,
- swab cheek for tissue typing and matching.
Who Needs It?
Many of those needing marrow transplants are facing leukemia, lymphomas, sickle cell anemia and other blood diseases. Patients are most likely to match donors of their same diverse race and ethnicity. Only 31% of those who have registered as potential donors have diverse racial or ethnic heritage (2.7 million of the nearly 9 million).
What Happens If I’m a Match?
If, in the future, you’re a suitable match for a person who needs a marrow transplant, you will be contacted by Oklahoma Blood Institute with detailed information. OBI is involved in the screening and matching of donors to patients around the world, as well as collecting the peripheral blood stem cells.
The majority of the time, a marrow donor gives through peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection, in a process very similar to a blood donation. Marrow is naturally replaced by the body in 4-6 weeks following a PBSC donation.
Occasionally, marrow is taken from a donor’s pelvic bone, when the person needing the transplant is deemed to likely have a better outcome if this approach is used. Anesthesia is used in this outpatient procedure, and the donor may experience soreness in the area following the procedure.
How Do I Hold a Marrow Registry Drive?
Whether you represent a large corporation or a small church, an urban community center or a rural town, patients need you. Contact us and rally your group to join us in giving patients hope for health.
How Do I Volunteer?
Many hands are needed to help organize marrow registry drives and spread the word about this unique way to save a life. Contact us and join the volunteers giving time to support marrow registry events.
How Can I Financially Contribute?
Most opportunities to register are offered at no charge. However, the cost is approximately $100 for each person registered. Our ability to enlist even more life-saving donors is limited without contributions from individuals and organizations. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to Oklahoma Blood Institute to help with costs.
To register or schedule a registry event, volunteer or make a financial contribution, contact the marrow registry coordinator at 405-297-5593.
Pictured above are Branden Linton, 17, and Camden Looper, 6. Branden battled leukemia as a young teenager. A family member was a match for a successful marrow transplant for Branden. Camden had a two-year battle with leukemia in the first years of his life. He received a marrow transplant from a matched donor registered through Be The Match®, administered by Oklahoma Blood Institute.