Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bone Marrow Donor Program - Signing Up To Be A Donor

Discussion on the donation of bone marrow in the past usually centered on how painful it was as a long and thick needle would be injected in your bone to extract the marrow. 

Technology has since jumped leaps and there is now the option of Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvest (PBSC) which is similar to blood donation. This technological advancement allays my fear of extreme pain and i gamely sign up as a donor via the Bone Marrow Donor Program (BMDP).

A letter was soon delivered to my mailbox. I am aware that BMDP was recently in the news as it has been specially called up by the Ministry of Health for a special audit although i thought this negative publicity shouldn't stop us from stepping forward as a potential donor to help those urgently in need, e.g those suffering from leukemia. 

Anyway, the letter contained a swab kit that would need you to complete and mail back to the organisation. Instructions were simple even though i was initially taken aback by the items laid out in front me. Hence, don't think too much and just follow according to the instructions.

Swab holder and the sterile cotton-tipped swabs. For someone who has been a dental orderly, i am aware of the process to make sure i don't contaminate the swabs.  

Here's the fun part - you have two swabs; one for each side of your cheek and you are required to rub the insides of your cheek with sufficient pressure! It was so similar to brushing that i was tempted to rub against my teeth too! 

Put both swabs in the swab holder; i think i have put too much pressure as the tips were literally dripping. Can't help for having easily-activated salivary glands.

Packed and sealed the necessary documents and items using the given pre-addressed envelope.

And drop it off at the postal box! So what happen if you are a match? Basically, you would be called up for additional blood testing to verify your compatibility and health condition. You may choose to say no at this point but standing on the side of the patient and his/her family, i could only imagine their disappointment given that it's a life and death matter concerning their loved one. 

I don't think i am a hero to register myself as a donor (personally feel that this is a waste of donated funds). Rather, i just believe in karma and hope that i might be useful for someone in need of my bone marrow.

What are you waiting for? 
Sign up here

p.s. for the FAQs, click here

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