The bone marrow drive test consists only of a cheek swab. Participants are required to fill out a medical questionnaire with information about contact people. The donor information is then registered with the NMDP. People 18-60 years of age can participate if they meet health guidelines. Donor information will then be compared to patients who need marrow around the world.
FACTS ABOUT BONE MARROW
- Every year, more than 10,000 Americans get life-threatening diseases that can only be cured with a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. The patients do not have a family donor and transplant is their only hope for a cure.
- Since it began operations in 1987, the National Marrow Donor Program has facilitated more than 30,000 marrow or blood cell transplants for patients who do not have matching donors in their families.
- On average, the NMDP facilitates more than 300 transplants each month, with more than 3,700 marrow and cord blood transplants in 2007.
- Patients diagnosed with leukemia, lymphomas or other blood cancers make up approximately 72 percent of transplants facilitated by the NMDP. The remaining patients undergo transplant to treat a variety of immune system and inherited disorders.
- Only 30 percent of patients in need of a marrow or blood cell transplant find a matched donor in their family. The other 70 percent may turn to the NMDP to search for an unrelated donor or cord blood unit.