Weill Cornell Bone Marrow Transplant Program

Becoming a Donor

Getting Tested to Become a Relative’s Donor

Those who want to donate stem cells should speak with a healthcare provider. Potential donors will be asked a series of questions to ensure they are healthy enough to donate and are not going to cause infection in the recipient. To determine the potential donor’s HLA type, a blood test will be conducted. Once the stem cell donor has been identified, they will then sign a consent form.

The typical time commitment for the donation process is 20-30 hours of time spread out over a four-to-six-week period (not including travel time). If you agree to donate, the patient’s doctor will request that you donate either peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) or marrow. The doctor chooses the donation method that is best for the patient.

Joining the Registry 

Even if you don’t have a specific person in mind in need of a stem cell transplant, millions of people are in need of stem cells and your generous donation could mean survival for some cancer patients.

Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian partners with the below three registries that facilitate the donation process.

Be the Match
Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. Their mission is to save lives through transplant. They provide information and resources for donors, patients and physicians about bone marrow and cord blood transplant.

Delete Blood Cancer
Delete Blood Cancer is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders by: creating awareness; recruiting bone marrow donors to provide a second chance at life; raising funds to match donor registration costs; supporting the improvement of therapies through research; and supporting patients from day one of their diagnoses.

Gift of Life
Gift of Life believes in giving every person battling blood cancer a second chance. Their goal is to engage the public to help get everyone involved in curing blood cancer, as a donor or volunteer. They are committed to getting as many people swabbed as possible to potentially become donors to those in need.