How to Donate Bone Marrow to Treat Leukemia

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I have read and heard so many stories about adults and children who are diagnosed with leukemia that I had to find out more about how to donate. Not everyone is moved in the same way and not everyone has to donate. However, I feel some kind of personal responsibility not only as a fellow resident of this planet, but also because I have lost a few family members to cancer. Therefore, like many Americans, this is something that has touched very close to home.

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. This includes four groups of diseases where there is an increase in the white blood cells. In Medical Terminology, Jane Rice outlines the four main types of leukemia: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia; Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Acute Myelogenous Leukemia; and Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. The more common types of leukemia are: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia tends to show up in adults over 50 years old. This form of leukemia is characterized by its slow and progressive increase of white blood cells in the blood and bone morrow.

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is cancer of the lymph cells and is distinguished by its large number of immature white blood cells are not only found in the blood, but the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen and other organs. This type of leukemia spreads rapidly.

At this point I am sure you are asking yourself,”How do I become a marrow donor?” Well, I am going to tell you. Below are a few simple steps that you can follow in order to become a marrow donor.

First and foremost you must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and be in good health.

To find out if you can become ‘potential’ donor, first call 1866 340 DKMS. You will then be asked a series of qualifying questions.  If you meet the requirements you will then be asked to provide your contact information. 

A package will then be sent out to you within a matter of days, outlining in detail how to do a cheek swab along with a donor registration form.

Read the donor information provided thoroughly and follow the instructions provided within the kit.  Once you have completed the swab and the donor registration form, you can return everything in the pre-paid envelopes provided.

If you are match you will be contacted. If you have any questions or concerns at any time you can contact DKMS at 1866-340-DKMS (6567).  You can also visit their website at www.dkmsamericas.org or email them at info@dkmsamericas.org.

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