The database has over 38 million registered bone marrow donors from around the world. However, none of them is a “genetic twin” of 13-year-old Amelia from Gdynia. – I know there is a drug for Amelia, that is a compatible donor. And that donor is maybe someone next to us. You just need to register – says the teen’s mom. October 13 is the Marrow Donor Day. See if you can help.
On September 30, Amelia turned 13. Nine months ago, the family learned that a teenager had contracted acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since then, the fight for her health has been going on. Now the most important thing is to find a “genetic twin”, that is, a person who could become a bone marrow donor.
There are over 38 million bone marrow donors registered in the global database, and over two million people in Poland alone. Although the counts are impressive, it turns out that none of these people can donate Amelia’s marrow.
– I know there is a drug for Amelia, that is a compatible donor. And this donor is maybe someone who watches us, maybe someone who lives next to this person, someone next to him, I am asking you to register – says Katarzyna Wilk, mother of the teenager.
20 percent of people did not find their “twin”
Amelia is among the 20 percent of people in the country who did not find their “genetic twin” in the bone marrow donor database.
– Speaking of Poland, for patients who need transplantation and a donor, about 80 percent are now able to find a donor (ed.). This is quite a good indicator for a global scale – says Dr. Tigran Torosian, medical director of the bone marrow donor center, a hematologist. – However, still for 20 percent of patients this twin is not in the database, so we encourage you to register – he adds.
The doctor explains that there are two methods of harvesting the marrow.
– Most often, because in almost 90 percent, it is a collection from peripheral blood, i.e. the donor is connected to such an apparatus, and from the blood, just like in the case of blood donation and platelet donation, stem cells are collected – explains Dr. Torosian. – In about 10 to 15 percent (of cases – ed.) It is done from the plates of the iliac bones and then it is done under general anesthesia – he adds.
How to register?
All persons Fr. good health, between 18 and 55 years of age. The registration itself is very simple and secure. Enough: enter the website www.dkms.pl and order a home registration package. Follow the instructions attached – take a swab from the inside of the cheek and complete and sign the form. The package should be sent to the address of the DKMS Foundation
Registration is completely free, and the package is enough to be placed in the mailbox using the return envelope. It is important that this is a conscious decision.
– When somewhere in the world a patient falls ill who has exactly the same antigens as the donor who is registered with us in the database, then we make the first call to our registered, potential donor and ask him if he is supporting his readiness to donate hematopoietic stem cells or bone marrow – says Renata Rafa, a bone marrow donor and employee of the DKMS Foundation.
Once the donor confirms that he or she is upholding his decision, the person will be referred to collect several vials of blood for virology near his place of residence.
– There they will once again confirm the compatibility between him and the patient. Then we wait for information from the transplant clinic that treats the patient. If the clinic confirms that our donor is a compatible donor, then we send him to a very detailed medical examination to make sure that he is either healthy or that he has a medical condition that does not exclude him from donation. Two or three weeks later, it donates hematopoietic stem cells or bone marrow – adds Rafa.
October 13 is the Marrow Donor Day.
Main photo source: Facebook / For Amelia