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Bone marrow donation for mixed- ancestry people

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am in nursing school and also the mom of two beautiful children who have mixed racial ancestry. I have learned how its very difficult for mixed ancestry people to find bone marrow donors who match them. I wanted to store my kids' cord blood when they were born, but I think we could not afford it or something. I can't remember the reasons why. I also asked about donation to the bone marrow bank but was told that the hospital was not qualified or did not have the equipment to collect the sample. :-( Hopefully it's more easily available now.

I just ordered my free swab kit so I can register for bone marrow donation and wanted to encourage others to spread the word, especially those of you who are of mixed ancestry or know people who are (who are adults and can donate). I was confused on the last page where it says "payment" but basically they just ask for a donation IF you can afford to give. Otherwise just make sure the promotion code is there and you don't have to pay anything to get the kit.

http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/Join_Now/join_now.html

My teacher said that an RN friend of hers was a match and was flown free of cost to another city and was able to donate her marrow to someone! So really there is no cost now or later other than your time and some recovery time (but knowing you saved a life is payment enough, right?)
post #2 of 5
I'm of mixed race myself, and I've been in the registry for 15 years.
post #3 of 5
I've been on the registry for about 17 years. I was a 6/6 match once but I had moved and by the time they tracked me down, someone else had stepped up to bat. I responded when I was living in England and there was a call made out to the Jewish community. The need of those of us of any ethnic minority is greater.

I looked into the cord blood-saving issue when I was pregnant. My sister had lymphoma and her oncologists basically said that it's not worth doing. Some even suspect it to be a sort of rip-off scheme directed towards new parents. Unless your family has some sort of genetic disease in which a stem cell transplant would be the treatment, it's probably a waste of money. I didn't know that it was outlawed in France where I gave birth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cord_blood_bank
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
I looked into the cord blood-saving issue when I was pregnant. My sister had lymphoma and her oncologists basically said that it's not worth doing. Some even suspect it to be a sort of rip-off scheme directed towards new parents. Unless your family has some sort of genetic disease in which a stem cell transplant would be the treatment, it's probably a waste of money. I didn't know that it was outlawed in France where I gave birth.
Most of the ones that advertise in pregnancy magazines are really just middle men. They charge parents a lot of money, but then just use public/nonprofit to do the actual lab work and storage. They pay these public/non-profit blood banks much less than they charge the parents of course.

When I looked into it further, I discovered we could go directly to our local blood bank and pay just the actual cost of doing it, not the extra huge profits for the heavily advertised middle men. It was a lot cheaper and the money we did spend is helping keep a valuable community asset in business.

DS being mixed race (one of the races very underrepresented on the lists at that) was a large part of our feeling that it would be worth doing. We also thought not just about the current possible treatments cord blood is used for, but also the treatments that haven't been discovered yet but might be in 20 years.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
I also asked about donation to the bone marrow bank but was told that the hospital was not qualified or did not have the equipment to collect the sample. :-( Hopefully it's more easily available now.
In the future, if you want to donate, contact the blood bank directly. They will send you every thing the OB/midwife needs to do the collection. It really has nothing to do with the hospital.
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