PRBC, Platelets and Beyond
It’s been over a year but I’d like to once again advocate for the Canadian Blood Services/OneMatch program who participate in the international coordination of human stem cells and marrow. I currently volunteer my time to courier products from donor to recipient and have decided to take the plunge and sign up to donate my own stem cells. Being a nurse, it’s now instinctual to document everything - so here you go!
The swabbing kit is the first step of the stem cell donation process. A simple one page questionnaire/consent form and four buccal (cheek) swabs were inside of the kit. After completing both I submitted it to a local Canadian Blood Services collection centre and now wait to find out if I’m a potential match for someone in need of the cells. I discovered that it can take months to years to find a match, so it’s important to complete the kit as soon as you decide to be a donor.
What Happens once I’m Matched with a potential Recipient?
Once a match is made, both parties undergo an intensive health review first with a nurse over the phone, then with a physician at the collection site. One of two donations can take place 1. Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation and 2. Bone Marrow Stem Cell Donation. Visit https://blood.ca/en/stem-cell/donation-process to read more about the collection process.
Who Will I be Helping?
Stem cell transplantation helps numerous diseases and disorders including leukemias, lymphomas, inherited immune system and metabolic disorders. To start your own donation journey go to https://blood.ca/en/stem-cell/onematch-information-new-registrants.
I encourage everyone to visit a donation clinic near you to see how you can help.