I learnt something very important today. There are 2 methods of harvesting stem cells for transplant.
1. The traditional way of harvesting bone marrow from the spine pelvic bone. The process, as depicted on TV, looks like a painful one. And indeed, there will be some post-op pain on the lower back.
2. Stem cell harvesting. This process is similar blood donation and is almost painless. The difference from blood donation is that the process takes 6 hours, but it can be broken into 3 sessions.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m totally unaware of the 2nd method of harvesting. Frankly speaking, the thought of sticking a long needle into my spine gives me 2nd thoughts about donating bone marrow, even for a worthy cause.
I spoke to the folks from the Bone Marrow Donor Programme today after my blood donation. They don’t get many people who are even willing to talk to them, let alone signing up as volunteers. Many people have the misconception as I do.
I’m glad I learnt about this today, which removes all misunderstandings. So, I signed up as a potential donor today. I hope this clears the doubts in the rest of you. Do consider signing up as a donor for potential donation. All they need is to prick your finger and take a sample to register you as a donor.
Realistically, the chance of a match is not very high, so we might not be called up in our whole lifetime. But if in the event that anyone is being shortlisted, a life would probably be saved.
Please share this piece of important information with your friends now.
More details of the Bone Marrow Donor Programme can be found at:
These are the dates and locations for the upcoming donation drives.
More dates can be found here.
23 Jan 10
Donor Recruitment : Tampines Central CC
24 Jan 10
Donor Recruitment : Eunos CC
26 Jan 10
Donor Recruitment : Republic Polytechnic
31 Jan 10
Donor Recruitment : Kolam Ayer CC
7 Feb 10
Donor Recruitment : Gek Poh Ville CC