Bone marrow donation
If you would like to become a potential bone marrow donor, you must be:
It is best to join the bone marrow register at a young age. The younger you are when you join, the more chance there is of your stem cells being most suitable for someone in need.
Having certain medical conditions may mean you cannot donate bone marrow. These include:
If you become pregnant, you will be temporarily unable to donate until your baby is 12 months old. Although no problems have been reported, the safety of donating bone marrow during and shortly after pregnancy has not been fully established.
If you don't live in the UK you may not be eligible to join the register.
A bone marrow donation is a relatively straightforward medical procedure. Diseased or damaged bone marrow can be replaced by donated bone marrow cells, which help treat and often cure many life-threatening conditions
Bone marrow transplants are required when a persons bone marrow becomes damaged or diseased to such an extent that it stops functioning properly
Bone marrow donors must have a tissue type that is compatible with the person who is going to receive their bone marrow. If a suitable bone marrow donor cannot be found from family members, doctors will try to find someone with a compatible tissue type on the bone marrow donor register.
If you are on the bone marrow register and you are identified as a potential donor, you may be asked to provide a blood sample. If your tissue type matches the patient who requires bone marrow, you may be selected to donate.
If you would like to become a potential bone marrow donor, you must be 18 to 49 years of age, in good general health and over 7 stone 12 pounds (50kg) in weight
Bridie Burrell was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia during the Christmas school holidays in 2004. She had a bone marrow transplant the following year.