So, several people have asked me about what it takes to be a donor marrow match.
Bone marrow contains the stem cells.
Even though the donor will not have to go through the painful bone marrow extraction that used to be called for. The newer way to extract the stem cells is much like taking a blood donation. Yet, matching for marrow is more complicated than just blood typing. If it was that easy I would be an easy fix because I am O+(which is a common blood type).
Although I do not know all that is being matched up and compared I do know a key thing that they are looking for.
There are lots of sites, receptors, etc at the cellular level of DNA, one of these markers is called HLA (human leukocyte antigen).
Depending on the patient and how fast they need the match can determine how close the match is going to be, for the most part.
If someone needs a match pronto/ASAP there doesnt have to be 100% match up... but this is preferable of course.
Many things can go wrong with not being able to match as many markers/factors as possible. Just like any transplant there is the risk of rejection or graft vs. host.
These situations have to do with either my body not accepting the new cells as my own, which can lead to my body destroying the new stem cells in complete rejection, then I have no good cells :(
OR the new stem cells introduced into my body see the last remnants of my stupid cells as bad and kill those... either way that kind of war going on confuses the immune system- no work gets done, and cells are killing off precious cells. Without these cells a body can not fight off the everday germs that people are used to living among... leaving it vulnerable and easily able to contract any little illness, unable to fight it off, and then die.
As you can tell it is imperative that a match be as close as possible, and it is a very nit-picky process, much more than just blood typing(not that I am saying blood typing isnt important or nit-picky in its own setting).
So, now, with all that being said... GET AS MANY PEOPLE TO BE DONORS as you can muster... Or if they can not register to be a match, they can help pay for someone who wants to be a match but unable to pay for a simple donor kit. There are people out there, not just me that need a close match, and you or someone you know could be it... could save a life... or my life!!!!!!!!