Register to Be a Bone Marrow Donor
The world needs more people like you who are willing to help save a life. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 40, committed to donating to any patient in need, and meet the medical guidelines, you can register to be a donor.
There are two ways to register:
Joining the registry requires a sample of cells, usually collected by swabbing the inside of your cheek. If you join at a live drive, you’ll do your cheek swab there. If you register online, Be The Match® will send you a swab kit that you’ll need to send back before you’ll officially be added to the registry.
Be The Match® uses the swab sample to compare specific protein markers, known as human leukocyte antigens (HLA), with HLA markers of patients who need a bone marrow transplant.
Doctors search the registry to find donors with HLA markers that match those of their patients. These searches happen on behalf of patients every day, so the most important thing you can do as a registry member is stay committed.
Does It Cost to Donate?
It costs absolutely nothing to donate. Be The Match® will cover medical expenses (lab tests, appointments and the actual donation procedure) and will take care of many everyday costs that donors face. This includes travel for the donor and one companion, childcare, pet boarding, and lost wage reimbursement.
Do Patients and Donors Meet?
Patient and donor safety is the top priority of Be The Match®. By U.S. law and federal contract, Be The Match is required to have a system to keep patient and donor information confidential.
Many patients and donors want to connect. In most cases, donors and patients in the U.S. may have anonymous contact during the first year after transplant. This includes sending cards, letters, and gifts without revealing their identities. Over time, donors and patients may want to make direct contact with each other. In most cases, they can do so after the mandatory waiting period (usually one year). To connect, both the donor and patient must agree to have their personal contact information shared.
Please note that these policies are for the U.S. You could donate to a patient outside the U.S. Policies vary by country, and some countries don’t allow contact between donors and recipients at any time.
Meet a searching patient, a donor, and a transplant recipient from Texas.
Ruby’s sickle cell disease means that she’s not experiencing a normal childhood. With a bone marrow transplant, however, she could live a future free of the disease.
Cole joined the Be The Match Registry in 2014 while attending nursing school. When he got the call that he matched with a patient in need, he didn't hesitate to say "yes."
After being diagnosed with leukemia at 2 months old, Avery received a bone marrow transplant that changed her life. Late last year, she got to meet her donor.