Bone marrow saves lives but it can be a challenge for African-Americans to find a donor match. Dr. Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., has been Chief Executive Officer of The Match for the last 14 years. During that time, the Be The Match Registry has more than doubled to over 11 million donors and the number of transplants facilitated has tripled to nearly 6,300 annually.
Chell has helped promote the emerging use of umbilical cord blood for transplants and has established Be The Match as the global leader in facilitating cord blood transplants.
Chell also serves as Executive Director of CIBMTR®, the leading research program in the field, established in 2004. CIBMTR is a joint effort between Be The Match and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Before he took the helm at Be The Match, Chell served as president, Allina Medical Clinics; private-practice physician of internal medicine in Minneapolis; and before that, Chell served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps.
He is currently the Vice-Chair on the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Minnesota, the nation’s largest wish-granting organization. Chell received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota.
You could be the cure for someone with a disease like sickle cell anemia or a blood cancer like leukemia by donating marrow.
July is African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month, and Be The Match is urging more African Americans to join the national Be The Match Registry as committed potential marrow donors.
Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry, and African-American patients have the lowest odds of finding a match compared to all other populations. Only 7% of Be The Match donors are African-Americans. More African- American donors are urgently needed to save more lives.
It only takes a few minutes to join the Be The Match Registry.
If you match a patient, you could be the only one out of millions who can save that patient’s life.
Get the real facts about marrow donation at BTMItsOnYou.org.
Does it hurt when they take bone marrow?
When you donate marrow, you are under general anesthesia and feel no pain during the procedure. Marrow donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back for one to two weeks afterward. Typically, marrow donors are back to their normal activities in two to seven days. Most donors say they would do it again to save a life.
Why did they gave my pops chemotherapy for almost 3 years but we could not give him our bone marrow?
Since this is an individual case, your question would be best addressed by the patient’s doctor.
Does the body of a donor reproduce bone marrow?
Yes, a donor’s marrow naturally replaces itself within four to six weeks.
How much can you give? How quickly does it replace itself?
The average amount of marrow and blood donated is about one quart, less if the patient is a baby or child. This is only a fraction of a donor’s total marrow. Most donors are back to their usual routine in a few days, and a donor’s marrow naturally replaces itself within four to six weeks.
Can someone with sickle cell trait donate?
No, they would not be able to donate.
How can active duty military sign up to donate?
U.S. military personnel are asked to register for the Be The Match Registry through the
Department of Defense (DoD) using one of these options below:
§ Attend a DoD donor drive<https://www.salutetolife.org/joinus.html>
§ Call 1-800-MARROW-3
§ Visit a walk-in registration center<https://www.salutetolife.org/reoccuringdrives.html>
Military personnel is defined as active duty U.S. military personnel and their dependents,
reservists, retirees, National Guard, Coast Guard and DoD civilian personnel.
Why only up to age 44?
People between the ages of 18 and 44 may join the Be The Match Registry at no cost. Currently, this age group is most urgently needed since they are requested by transplant doctors more than 90 percent of the time, and research shows that these donors provide the greatest chance for transplant success. People between the ages of 45 and 60 who want to join the registry are welcome to do so online with a $100 tax-deductible payment.
Are there any medical conditions that can prohibit a potential donor from donating?
Yes, to join, people need to be between the ages of 18 and 60, meet health guidelines and be willing to donate to any patient in need. Medical conditions such as previous cancers, heart disease or autoimmune diseases can prohibit you from donating. More information about our specific medical guidelines can be found at BeTheMatch.org.
Who do I contact to see if I’m a good candidate to donate bone marrow?
Contact Be The Match by visiting BeTheMatch.org or calling 1-800-MARROW-2.
What’s the criteria to donate? (Give blood, no tattoo or serious blood conditions) To join, people need to meet age and health guidelines and be willing to donate to any patient in need. Registration involves completing a health history form and giving a swab of cheek cells. You can join the registry if you regularly donate blood and/or have tattoos. Medical conditions such as previous cancers, heart disease or autoimmune diseases can prohibit you from donating. More information about our specific medical guidelines can be found at BeTheMatch.org.
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