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As a former nurse for kids with pediatric cancer, I am excited to share that during the month of January you can join the National Marrow Donor Registry for FREE.

Normally it costs $100 to offset the lab costs, but right now the American Express Foundation is paying for anyone that registers during January!

I urge everyone to consider joining the registry.  It takes 1 minute to get set up online, and then within a week you will get a kit in the mail.  Your lab kit is very simple, just swab the inside of your cheek with a cotton swab that they send, and then mail it back (in a prepaid envelope).

I’ve been part of the registry now for the past 4 years. I’ve never had a call that I was needed, but I would love to help someday if I did match someone that needed it.  As a donor you would spend an afternoon in the hospital, with an IV and nothing more than what you would do donating blood.  You’ll be back to full steam the next day, and your body will completely recover and make new marrow within a few weeks.

There are so many patients just waiting to hear that a match is out there.  Having actually set kids up and spent the day with them as these transplants happen, I long for every person to help.

I know some of you don’t want to, that’s cool.  For everyone else that is even a bit interested, head over and read about the registry and how easy it is to help.

    • Hanna

      I’ve been wanting to do this!! Thanks!

    • Jbearden4571

      I think this is a great idea. Thanks for letting us know about this.

    • Guest

      this is a great idea, and i’m interested in doing it, but have one practical ?–which you may or may not know the answer to:   

      as someone who is uninsured, if i ever did get that call, could i or should i expect that the costs of that day in the hospital would be covered by the recipient’s insurance or what?    i believe i could handle any pain involved, but not any bills.  :(

      • That’s an awesome question.  If you are ever called as a match, there is no cost at all for the donor they even pay transportation costs!

    • Maria

      As a nurse myself, i signed up a few years ago.

    • Maria

      As a nurse myself, i signed up a few years ago.

    • Debbie

      Thanks for posting this.  I pray that many matches come from this.

    • Kwhlion1961

      I thought Bone Marrow was taken from your spine

      • It used to be done by going through your hip bone, now they instead give you medication that increases your bodies marrow cells in your blood stream and they filter it out a lot like you were donating plasma.  It’s a lot less invasive.

        • Pam

          My husband was a donor in March and he was in and out of the operating room in an hour. He was asleep for the whole procedure and yes, it comes from your hip bones. By 4pm, he was discharged and we drove back home. Within 2 days, he was rolling around with our toddler daughter! Much less invasive nowadays!

      • Katie

        If you look through the site, it explains the difference between the two procedures (Jenny and Pam each described one). Which procedure is done is up to the doctor performing the transplant, so there’s no way to know now which procedure would be used if you were ever picked. But either way, it’s not nearly as invasive as it used to be.

      • Susan

        I just finished donating stem cells for my brother with leukemia. Bone marrow is taken from the hips.  Stem cells from the blood.  The collection is no big deal but you do get shots for 5 days prior to the collection.  The shots made me very sick on day 3- worst I’ve ever felt and I’ve had 3 babies.  The doctor prescribed some meds and I was much better.  Day after, felt completely fine.  I would do it again in a heartbeat- I can suck up feeling lousy for a day or two to save a life.

    • Parrott_81

      I just joined. After watching my little sister lose her battle with cancer I will help anyone any way that I can.

    • Mistienwilliamson

      I have been added, I hope I am never called, but If I am I will be proud to help. GOd bless all who decide to be added to the list and good luck.

    • Kwhlion1961

      Well Jenny I am needle phobic which sucks because I faint all the time but I will do this for a good cause. I had a knee replacement 4 months ago can I still donate?

      • I’m a pretty sure that joint replacements are fine.  They are mostly looking for a history of blood disorders that make people ineligible.

        • No, there are a lot more disqualifications other than blood disorders. A few I remember off hand is age and obesity.

    • Leslie

      As a mother of a son that’s been diagnosed with cancer 3x, I am so thankful for this post!!! Thank you to everyone who signs up!

    • Butterflygirl1980 Sk

      Just signed up & shared.

    • cindharb

      Please, please everyone sign up.  My neice just finished receiving a bone marrow transplant for a very rare form of leukemia.  She was lucky enough to have a match among relatives, but not everyone is and the registry is their only hope.  Especially among minority populations such as African Americans and American Indians, matches are especially hard to find.  If you are within those demographics, the need for your gift of registering is so much greater.  My neice’s donor had an easy time with it; was back at full swing 2 days later.

    • Amy B.

      Thank you Jenny!

    • Amy B.

      Thank you Jenny!

    • Pam

      My husband was called to be an anonymous donor this past March after being on the registry for 10 years! We are happy to announce that 10 months post receiving bone marrow that the 19 year old leukemia patient is doing great!!!!! JOIN TODAY!!!!

      • Deeds_hayes

        Would you mind sharing what your husband went through to donate?

        • Deeds_hayes

          Oh never mind, I see it below.

    • Penrose33

      Got signed up. Thanks.

    • Valonadove

      Can I register if I take blood pressure meds and coumadin?

    • Valonadove

      Can I register if I take blood pressure meds and coumadin?

      • Nonnie Mouse

        Generally, when it comes to bio-donations, they are screening against transmittable disease or genetic conditions. If you were taking the meds at the time of donation request, then you would not be able to donate.

        If you expect to come off of the meds in the long run, I would register. If you will be on medication permanently, it is unlikely you will be able to donate if called and should probably not register.

    • Katdan06

      My son needed a bone marrow transplant 15 years ago! Our whole family signed up.  We were so fortunate, our then 12 year old daughter was a 6/6 perfect match.  He had his transplant and both are doing great.  15 years later he has an adopted son and it’s great to have him alive and healthy!  PLEASE register.

    • Nonnie Mouse

      Wonderful post, Jenny! Will be sure to spread this far and wide!

    • Jeepchic05

      This is amazing, thanks for posting this!!

    • cm6755

      Done!  Thank you!

    • TTRN

      Great opportunity!  I’ve been on the registry for more than 20 years and never been called.  Makes me realize how hard it is to find a match and what if I needed one…

    • Kimandjoel

      Is there a way to chk the registry to see if you are already signed up??

      • Nonnie Mouse

        Q: I think I may have already joined. How can I verify that I am on the registry?A: Be The Match Registry is the new name for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry. Whether you joined the NMDP Registry or Be The Match Registry, online or in person, you are part of the same registry and do not need to join again. If you have previously given a blood sample or cheek cell sample to be tested for the registry, you do not need to join again.
        If you are unsure whether you joined, you can contact us at 1 (800) MARROW-2.

    • Wendy

      I also urge everyone if possible to take the time to sign up. I signed up a few years ago and received the phone call a few weeks before thanksgiving that I might be a possible match for a woman that I will never meet or know any information about. The test is painless and is life changing for someone in need and for there family too!

    • NAV

      Thank you, Jenny, for posting this.  I have been on the registry for probably 20 years.  I have actually come up as a preliminary match 4 times and was selected as a best match for an unknown recipient in Italy.  I went through the procedure and the marrow was “harvested” from my pelvic bone.  Although there is some discomfort post op, it is not bad at all and I will be glad to do it again if the chance arises.  I’m sure any pain that I felt during the donor experience is miniscule to the hardships of the patient and their families during their cancer ordeals!  Let’s go folks, take this opportunity to make a REAL difference in someones life.  Thanks again!

      • Pam

        Thank you for sharing your donor experience and thank you for doing something so amazing!

    • Kashakareid

      my  19 year old cousin died of 
      leukemia just 10 months after being diagnosed with it. Till this day i regret not trying to see if i could be a match, because i was scared :(  I thank you for this site and I will register with hope i can save someone else life, since it is too late for my little cousin Latoya

    • thanks for posting, I have joined and waiting on my swabs in the mail.

    • Tonya

      thanks for posting this Jenny – I am also a former pediatric nurse to children with cancer and worked in a satellite clinic for St. Jude’s.  I did not like seeing all of the kids come thru our clinic with cancer but I actually loved taking care of this kids.  AND to this day there are a few that still stand out in my mind and have kept in touch with me.  One in particular, had to have a bone marrow transplant.  He is grown now and has children of his own.  Thanks for reminding everyone.

    • Idachick

      Will they still take you if you are currently nursing?  It isn’t like I’ll be nursing my baby forever ;D — I used to work for the Red Cross and I know that we couldn’t do plasma donation (because of the solution that they run back through during the process) when I was nursing my little boy.

      • Asjsmall

        Go ahead and register I was on the list for several years before getting the call to donate.

    • Bluelilbegonia

      I joined bethematch in August, and it was free then too…

    • croppinmama

      It’s wonderful that you are posting this to raise awareness for the NMDR.  I’m a Marrow Transplant Nurse, and can vouch for the privacy that is maintained for donors, if anyone is concerned about that.  I personally infused donor marrow from donors, matched with recipients through the Registry.  The more donors registered, the highly probablity of a match for a needy patient.  I was registered myself, but due to my travel to Third World countries, have been eliminated.  Donors with all ethnicities are needed, so please consider this worthwhile opportunity to help another person.

    • Fishnfools97

      As a Mother of a child who needed a bone marrow transplant, I thank you for posting this link! I have been on the registry since my son had his transplant and would love to have the opportunity to help another person one day!

    • Sarah

      I just signed up!  Thanks Jenny!

    • Melissaandmolly

      wow…after all that…i’m too fat to be a donor! 
      ok i’m gonna go cey myself to sleep now!   :(

      • Anonymous

        I feel your pain – just read the medical requirements and I’m too sick AND too fat.  :(  And I’m eating donuts as I type this.  (No connection whatsoever between those three things – illness, overweight, and donuts, I’m sure!)  kidding…  I know what my weight problem costs me, but I never thought about what it might be costing others.

      • Bailbondgrl05

        My friend was over by 10 lbs and she said outright she was going on Atkins just so she would be able to sign up. It made me really proud.

    • Laura

      Just signed up and shared. Lost my best friend to cancer a few years ago at 24 yrs old and am so glad for the opportunity to help! Thank you for sharing!

    • Lisa Cook

      I’ve been a member since…2005ish I think.  I haven’t been called but this was a great reminder to give them a call and update all my information.  Thanks Jenny!

    • Bmwestfam

      My son was diag. with cancer in June. Although he won’t need a bone marrow transplant, they did extract bone marrow from his hips to verify there wasn’t cancer there. All he had from that was two little spots which looked like the diameter of a pencil tip on his lower back just below the waistline. I was told the easiest place to get it. He was a little achy there for a day or two, and at 12 probably would have noticed  it more than an adult. So please join the registry, he is cancer free now but has friends we have made in this process that are on the list praying everyday they get the call.  

    • Love My Family

      I have been registered since 2000…..no calls, but I am hopeful that one day I’ll be a match for somebody out there. 

      Blood donations are always needed, too.

    • Macon,GA

      IF….you are chosen, are there any costs involved with the actual donation process?   I guess I’m asking…would it ever cost the donor anything?  I’d like to pass this link on to others, but I need more info. Thank you so much for posting this.  I’ve always wanted to be a part ofit!

      • NAV

        No cost to the donor, other than time.

    • Stephanie

      This is wonderful! My cousin’s 20 month old was diagnosed with Leukemia last month and the whole family was going to be tested for possible marrow match. This is so much better!

    • Bailbondgrl05

      I was so excited to see this link I emailed it to everyone I know. In 07 I was in a horrific car wreck and had to have blood transfusions just to live. I know that without others kindness and donated blood I would not have made it. I have tried to always donate everything I can so that someone can have the second chance I did. Thank you so much for giving us this chance. 

    • Kristen Tripson

      Thank you so much for posting this.  My husband, Sam, was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma earlier this year, the day before the birth of our first child, Jack.  He’s going to need a stem cell transplant (aka bone marrow transplant) but they have yet to find a donor.  We were shocked that out of the huge national donor bank they can’t find a perfect match.  It could be you!  If you’re like me and truly hate painful medical procedures please know that a stem cell donation is similar to a lengthy plasma donation…no painful bone drilling/extractions required.  Please.  Take a few minutes to sign up. 

    • Dinker44

      great! i am signed up!

    • Jennifer

      Just requested my kit!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Guest

      I’m so thankful that American Express Foundation is covering the cost of the lab fees so that many more people will register.  When people think leukemia, they think of the children.  Actually, the average age of the person diagnosed with leukemia is 67 years old.  The average age of a person dying from leukemia is 75 years old.  The probability of finding a family match at the older age is much less than the probability of finding one when the leukemia patient is very young.  And if the leukemia patient happens to be from ethnic backgrounds not well represented in the in the marrow registry, the odds of finding a match are even lower.  Their lives depend upon a marrow match and a donor who is willing to step up to the plate when the call comes.  

    • Sparen_und_nix_zahlen

      Oh man I am to fat.. :( Well at least my husband can join and for me weight watchers (what a good reason to join!)

    • Amierenee

      I have wanted to join for so long; but due to my asthma that is not well controlled, I have always been ineligible.  Breaks my heart.  I keep my fingers crossed that eventually I will be able to say I’ve gone the 2 years without requiring steroid intervention and then I can sign up!!!  So glad you posted this though, as it is clearly bringing in lots of new potential donors!!!  I am most definitely an organ donor though, and hope everyone will consider that as well!!!!

    • Pfamcoupons

      I joined a couple of years ago and I have not been called however I would love to help when needed.

    • Violet

      Damn.  Sleep apnea diagnosis keeps me from registered.

    • Mzhsteach2

      I just attempted to join but my long term arthritis meds eliminated me from becoming a possible donor. I DID try and will post on facebook…

    • Robroy207

      I so wanted to do this. But unlike those who can lose weight I can’t because of Reynaud’s.  So sad, something that bothers me so mildly could stop this.  I know there are much more severe cases of this but still sad….

    • heather

      I just registered and am working on getting my husband to join. ( I know I can)

    • Jena

      Thank you for sharing!  I just requested my kit.  I had looked into this before but didn’t have the extra at the time to join and forgotten about it since then.   

    • Heather

      Done….just registered. What a great feeling!!

    • Beth

      Just registered and I feel so good about it!  Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much for sharing!!  I posted it on my facebook too so hopefully we can all help spread it like wildfire. 

    • Mandy

      Everyone’s stories touched my heart. I was going to register but reading through the requirements I am ineligible due to my Crohn’s Disease. I will tell all my friends, I would tell my family but autoimmune diseases are rampant in my family so they would be ineligible also. Best wishes to everyone affected!

    • Theatlantablonde

      done! How sweet of you to share! :)

    • Julie

      I have been on the registry since 1989.  I am excited to pass this information on to my extended family, and my young adult children so they can register too!  Thank you for sharing the information! 

    • Julie

      I have been on the registry since 1989.  I am excited to pass this information on to my extended family, and my young adult children so they can register too!  Thank you for sharing the information! 

    • Julie

      I have been on the registry since 1989.  I am excited to pass this information on to my extended family, and my young adult children so they can register too!  Thank you for sharing the information! 

    • Eandkbranham

      Thanks for posting, just registered:)

    • Ginger

      THANK YOU for sharing this!  A dear friend of mine’s two year old JUST received a bone marrow transplant 10 days ago!  That was only possible b/c someone in England was a perfect match for her!  How grateful we all are that the person decided to be on the registry!

    • Patie_triplett

      Just signed up…….Thanks for sharing. :)

    • DeeMetz

      I did it and posted to my facebook in hopes of others registering to.  So glad you shared this with us.

    • Nancybair2003

      I couldn’t register due to sleep apnea as well :(

    • Savinggranny

      I have been praying of a way to help others…just got back from church and saw this post.  I signed up and I hope one day to be able to help someone.  Thanks Jenny for all you do!  Take care and God Bless!

    • Bellfamily

      Thank you for the post!  I just registered.  Couldn’t have done it if I had to pay the $100 because of our budget.  I’d love to help someday!

    • kristi

      I couldn’t join due to asthma..  :(

    • april

      Sadly you cannot help if you have psoriasis… but I will pass on to friends!

    • ANGELA


    • Leeannholder

      Just joined!!!

    • Kellie

      Just joined!  How wonderful!  I didn’t know it was so easy to become a doner!

    • Loraine Loves Coupons

      I really wanted to, but after reading the medical guidelines, I don’t qualify since I have a herniated disc :(

    • Danelle Odum

      Just requested my kit! Hopefully I’ll be able to help someone!

    • Tmbenner2004

      My husband and I registered last year and it was free with no type of promotion going on.They requested a donation when we signed up but there was no actual fee that you had to pay to register-we did not have the money to donate at the time and still got our kits and registered.I really hope they are not charging a fee to join now because that would keep a lot of eligible people from joining-we could not have afforded 200 dollars to register both of us.Anyway,I am so glad that they are getting lots of new signups!

    • BCT

      I just registered! Thanks Jenny!

    • Melanie

      Just joined. Thank you for providing this information…..always looking for a way I can help.

    • Dawnbakeringram

      Thanks to everyone who joins–I cannot due to a severe heart condition.  However my mother is in dire need of a transplant and will not take from my 2 year old, who is a match.  (I am not…)  I pray that the Lord directs the right person at the right time to register!

      • Ginger

        I’m so sorry, what a horrible situation for your family. I hope your mom finds a match.

      • Veganpadua

        Your story struck me — i rarely ever comment.  My daughter would risk anything and everything if it meant saving her grandmothers life.  Their relationship is priceless.  It is such a persaonal decision but maybe the Lord has already sent the right person your way.  Just something to think aobut :)

    • bumblesmommy

      this is a fantastic thing to do, sadly after looking at the medical guidelines, I cannot register. Letting anyone out there know that if you have an autoimmune disease that you cannot donate. Best wishes and God bless those that can!

      • Dmc

        I’m sorry you can’t join!  I was worried too since I’m hypothyroid, but thankfully the guidelines said as long as it’s under control / medicated, I can still join. 

    • kinah2003

      Thank you so much for posting this!  I have wanted to join for quite awhile, but couldn’t because of the cost involved (no money in the budget).  So, thanks to you making this effort, I can finally join.  God Bless!!

    • Jspangle

      I just joined. I will post it to my facebook page so that hopefully some of my friends will join as well. I cant think of a better why to start a new year than to try and save a life. Thanks for posting this Jenny.

    • Thank you for posting!  In Atlanta, we are a part of the Be the One Run each September…it raises awareness and money for Be the Match.  My mother (Suzie) received a donation from a complete stranger that saved her life.  Ever since, we have tried to help spread the word.  If anyone is interested in the Be the ONe run (we look for sponsors and people to join Team Suzie who want to run and help spread the word) please email me at dandkfrank@yahoo.com

      • if you click my name, it will take you to my mothers page and information…thank you all for caring about others!  You truly could save a life…like somone saved my mothers!

    • Carol

      Thanks for posting this Jenny!  I registered this morning.  You are helping so many people. 

    • Sprtgirl32

      Is having a baby considered being hospitalized??

      • Stephanie

        No, but you cannot be actively on the list if you are pregnant or nursing. They will put you on hiatus.

      • Stephanie

        No, but you cannot be actively on the list if you are pregnant or nursing. They will put you on hiatus.

        • guest

          I don’t know how to ask this without it being TMI, so I’m just gonna put it out there. I am still technically pregnant, but basically waiting to miscarry. (No heartbeat or fetal growth.) If nothing happens in 2 weeks, I’m supposed to set up a D&C. Can I register at this point, or would I have to wait for some reason?

          • Mel

            Their website says you can join if you are pregnant but you just can’t donate while pregnant

            • guest

              Oh good, thank you. :)

          • Sarah

            So sorry you have to go through this, and that you have to wait for the inevitable. I’ve been there myself, as have so many of my friends. It’s totally normal to feel sad, even devastated, or also nothing at all. Whatever you feel, you are normal! Be sure to seek out a friend who understands, and don’t let anyone tell you ‘you should just get over it’, or when you should/shouldn’t get pregnant again.  I hate that we have to go through these things…

            • guest

              Thank you, it is so sweet  of you to care. :) We are as okay with what happened as you probably can be. It’s a loss, but that’s the way life is. They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I believe that’s true. 

    • Deana Blevins

      SO glad you posted this.  As a recipient of 2 transplants I was blessed enough to have my brother as my donor but I am a huge supporter of this organization.  

    • Deana Blevins

      SO glad you posted this.  As a recipient of 2 transplants I was blessed enough to have my brother as my donor but I am a huge supporter of this organization.  

    • I just registered Jenny.  Thanks for letting us know about this.  Hope I can help out someone in need!

    • guest

      Thanks so much for posting this.  I just signed up.  My father-in-law was an organ transplant recipient, so organ/blood/marrow donation is a cause near and dear to my heart.  I’ve shared this information on Facebook in the hopes a few more people register.

    • guest

      Thanks so much for posting this.  I just signed up.  My father-in-law was an organ transplant recipient, so organ/blood/marrow donation is a cause near and dear to my heart.  I’ve shared this information on Facebook in the hopes a few more people register.

    • guest

      Thanks so much for posting this.  I just signed up.  My father-in-law was an organ transplant recipient, so organ/blood/marrow donation is a cause near and dear to my heart.  I’ve shared this information on Facebook in the hopes a few more people register.

    • Deniseflanders

      I just registered!

    • gloria

      Thank you so so much for posting this!  My 29-year old sister was going to be a transplant recipient from a donor on the registry since our brother and I were not matches for her.  Sadly, she lost her fight with Leukemia before she could receive her transplant.  Whether you donate marrow, blood, or platelets, patients with leukemia and other blood cancers depend on donors.  Thank you again for bringing this to everyone’s awareness!

    • Ret9441

      Done!  Thanks Jenny!

    • Kelly

      Oh wow, I had no idea there was a cost involved. I registered back in 2009 and it was free then. I just got a “Happy Anniversary” email from them. At first, I thought they were emailing me about a potential match and got so excited that there was someone who needed my help, but not yet…

    • Laura

      Done! And reposted on FB – had no idea it was so easy!

    • Lrae17

      Jenny, THANK YOU for posting this!  I am a Bone Marrow Transplant SURVIVOR thanks to a young man I didn’t know in another state.  Neither of my siblings were matches for me and finding a match in the registry was my only shot at survival.  I’m SO thankful he was willing to give of his marrow to give me a shot at life…and that was 7 years ago when the marrow still had to be harvested from the hip!  They’ve come a long way and I’m glad you posted that’s it’s not a painful process (anymore).  Even if you’re not sure about it, I’d encourage people to register.  You can always change your mind later, though since my transplant and I’ve had more contact with those facing a bone marrow transplant, I’ve know a young man who’s donor backed out.  The donor was the only potential match in the registry for this man and because he backed out, this man died.  So sad.  Anyway, THANK YOU for this post…can’t wait to repost it!!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for posting. Just an fyi for anyone who just can’t do this right now, it is free to goto a donor center or marrow drive and join at any time. I work for a blood bank and we run marrow drives along with our blooddrives from time to time. Our blood bank centers will do marrow registry at any time. No cost is ever involved but donations are always accepted. 

    • Frankmomof3

      Thanks so much for this reminder.  My contact information with the registry was out of date and seeing this reminded me that I needed to update it.

    • Lisa

      Registered, very easy!  Thanks for the story.

    • Melissa

      Just registered!! I think it would be an AWESOME feeling to save someone’s life if you could!

    • Monica Miller

      Proud to say I have been a donor since high school when the drew blood.  Best wishes and many blessing to anyone willing to step up!

    • Jackie

      I registered as a donor many years ago, I am glad to see so many more people doing the same.

    • Mel

      Just joined. Even though I know I will be scared to give, when I think that it could be one of my children that needs it, it makes me want to help someone that is someone’s else child, parents or sibling.

    • jen r

      i just registered!
      thanks for posting…you are doing great good with your site jenny!!!

    • Kristen

      A good friend’s son had a transplant at the age of 6 (2005), his donor registered in1987. You are saving a life that might not even have been born yet

    • Jen

      This is extremely personal but I would really like to do this but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to. I have recently been told I have MS. This may be a silly question considering it is not a communicable disease but would I be able to do this or be rejected for being a donor due to my illness? Thanks. :)

      • Vnfranklin

        The website says those with MS and other autoimmune diseases cannot.

        • Jen

          Thanks, I actually just finished reading that on their site. Bummer. :(

      • Colleen

        Yeah, I’m eliminated for the same reason :-(  Same applies to donating blood.

    • Kelly C

      I’d love to join, but unsure if I can. I am unable to donate blood, due to living overseas during “mad cow”. Anyone know if that counts here too? I haven’t personally been affected by anyone needing a transplant but have friends who have.

      • Guest

        There’s a phone number on the site for any questions you have.

    • Melissa M.

      I am so honored to join. Thank you American Express Foundation for making it possible for me to!

    • ANGELA

      I donated to a man over 7 years ago.  I didn’t know anything about him other than without the transplant he would not live another year.  I was nursing a baby and everyone was worried about me doing it but I believed I was his only hope.  I was unable to do the stem cell transplant because of nursing but they  were able to do the bone marrow transplnat.  The next day i was doing laundry  and cooking.  The donor keeps in touch now and is having a normal healthy life.  I would strongly encourage everyone to sign up.

      • Pam

        That is wonderful to hear Angela! So glad to hear that you were able to give him such a wonderful gift AND still nurse your sweet little one!

      • I was wondering about this! I am currently pregnant and still nursing my 18 month old. When I deliver my 2nd baby in July, I will definitely be long term breastfeeding again, and was wondering if I would be eligible to donate while breastfeeding if I were ever to be called. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • DL

      I’m a little confused??? I joined btm a few months ago – for free. When I registered part of the reading material said that it is always, always, always 100% free for donors. Had it been $100 I wouldn’t have been able to afford to join. I did join however, and frequently urge others too as well. Not sure where this info that it costs $100 is coming from?

      • Blouzahdeb

        That’s what I thought — I also joined a few months ago and it was free, too.  I’m hoping that it means the costs are being covered so it’s free to the registry, too, instead of costing them money. 

      • It is always on a donation only basis, but right now Amex is covering that too so that the registry isn’t out money for folks that don’t donate.

    • I just registered and posted to facebook. Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    • Lenettemarie

      Did it – thanks for putting the word out

    • Tristasnmommy120910

      So I have 2 questions. First is I tried to find the weight requirements for donors. I found the maximum weight requirements but no minimum. I have never even been able to donate blood because im so tiny. 5ft 7 and weigh 103. Can someone tell me if their is a min req? Also I have a birth control inplant And didnt see anything about that under the prescription section. Thanks in advance for answers.

      • ElDoctor

        there is no minimum – even kids can give marrow. 

        • Donna

          On their weight guidelines page they do say that people who are “extremely underweight” – their words – would need to be carefully evaluated before allowing them to register.  Worth a shot at least!

          • Bmwestfam

            The weight restriction is just to make sure the donor can handle the procedure, underweight probably not an issue.

          • Bmwestfam

            The weight restriction is just to make sure the donor can handle the procedure, underweight probably not an issue.

      • Tristansmommy120910

        Thank you! I signed up yesterday. So happy to potentially be able to save someone’s life.

    • Christina

      Done!  :)  I’m already a member of a private registry but this is a great idea!  People are still so fearful of it and don’t realize it’s come such a long way and is so much easier to be a donor now a days!  Thanks for sharing!

    • Paragoddesslaurel

      Registered, and forwarded to Facebook, too! Thank you Jenny! I never knew this existed!

    • Veganpadua

      In addition to hoping that everyone who needs a donor can find a match, I would also hope that this organization changes their policy to include “men having sex with men” as a group that is eligible to donate.  They site HIV/AIDS concerns when this group idoes not have the highest rate of HIV — intravenous drug users do.  If I had to choose between not finding a match and using a gay man’s marrow, I would think the choice would be obvious.  i do feel better now and will feel even betterafter I share my opinion with the registry.  (stepping off pedastal now :) 

      • mazeltov

        If they don’t allow people with serious sleep apnea or asthma, then they are pretty strict.  And they rule out people with chemical dependency, so they have the highest (drug) and second highest (homosexual) risk groups for Aids ruled out.  Makes sense to me!

        • Tristansmommy120910

          As far as I know if your infected with hiv/aids it can take up to 6 months for it to show positive if your infected. What if 10 years ago a male slept with another male out of curiosity (or whatever the case may be) and no longer does! If he tests negative now by all means he should be able to donate if he met all other criteria. I’m with you veganpadua!!!

          • natalie

            it’s within the past 5 years.

        • Bmwestfam

          The asthma / sleep apnea aspect is to make sure you can handle the procedure. Not an issue for the patient receiving the marrow rather than your ability to go through the procedure. Same with the weight and heart issues.

        • Veganpadua

          Well, , that is what made it ieven more interesting for me.  they actually do allow people with a previous chemical dependency to participate.  and, since anyone can potentially be infected with aids, perhaps a better screening of the actual donated material would help

    • ElDoctor

      I urge anyone reading this who is pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant or have pregnant friends to donate their Cord Blood – Donate not Bank. It is free and is much more lifesaving than bonemarrow – however there are only a dozen banks in the country and you need to contact them yourself. There is a link on the bone marrow registry site for it. Otherwise this most precious life saving material gets thrown out with the trash. 

    • Dwelch213

      I joined and am spreading the word to friends and family!!

    • Tmullins74

      I would love to help children i lost my son Avery December 5,2010 but the guidelines they have there are 8 which counts me out as even trying to be a donor i have an in membrance tattoo of my son strike one and the list goes on

      • Donna

        Not sure what the other strikes you mention are, but having a tattoo does NOT prevent you from joining!  On the medical guidelines page it specifically says this:

        You may register if you have received a tattoo.

        Read the guidelines carefully – sometimes the wording is a little strange!

    • mazeltov

      I really want to sign up… I don’t like that they say under privacy that it is private unless requested by law.  Laws can change, and they always do.  I prefer to keep my medical information out of government hands. 

      • Marie

        Just registered for my kit!

    • Marie

      The cord blood donation thing looks really interesting, I never heard of it before, and didn’t realize it could be used in this way too.  We definitely would have donated it from our homebirths if we had known.  Maybe if we have another one…

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    • Ffields

      Q: Why is there sometimes a cost associated with joining the registry?
      A: The total cost to add a new member to the Be The Match Registry is about $100. This includes the cost of the testing needed to match donors to searching patients and related costs.Be The Match relies on financial contributions to help cover the costs of adding members to the registry. Others have contributed toward the costs for you to join today. However, there are not always enough funds to cover the numbers of donors needed, so sometimes new members are asked to pay some of the registration costs when they join.Your contribution will make it possible for more people like you to join in the future. Every gift helps make life-saving transplants a reality for more patients — contribute now.

    • Sheila

      I registered via the Dept of Defense bone marrow registery in 1989 (while I was still active duty)… received an email/call while stationed in Korea three years ago, but another potential donor was closer and was told I would be contacted again if that donor could not be available. Be sure to update contact info if you move around (easy to do). If interested in being a “living donor,” in addition to bone marrow, a person can donate a kidney and a portion of their liver so consider registering for these donations as well. I was blessed to be able to donate a kidney to my mother in 2004 (both of us are doing great). Jenny, thanks for using Southern Savers to highlight this urgent and important cause.

    • Sheila

      I’m registered and have a tattoo. When I donated a kidney in 2004, I was asked about when and where I received it… seems they wanted to rule out the possibility of hepitisis… clearly, wasn’t ruled out as donor just had to ensure the receipient wouldn’t be at greater risk for infections/complications.

    • Dmc

      Thanks, Jenny!  I just registered and will be anxiously awaiting my kit!  I’m glad to do this & really hope I can help someone!  :)

    • Ahjohns

      Unfortunately, I cannot donate marrow, blood, or even be an organ donor.  My uncle passed away in 1995 from a rare disease and the doctors informed the family members that due to the fact the disease may be genetic and unsure how it is transmitted, no one in the family can be a donor.  I have since found out that is actually a question  asked of blood donors, if they had/have a relative who had kruetchfield-yacob’s disease.  I have heard it is similar to mad cow disease.

    • CeriseRose

      I don’t know if it works the same here as in Canada, but I was on the registry there, and while I didn’t match for a marrow donation, they did use my information to match for a platelet donation for a burn victim.  That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t registered for it!  :)

    • Beallteam

      My husband and I just signed up!

    • Leslie Ramey

      This is so important!  Thanks for sharing, I shared on facebook and will sign up to save a life.

    • Pepper

      I tried to join just now (Jan 31) and they said it cost $52.  Was there a limit to the amount of free registrations Amex would sponsor?