December 29, 2008

The fourth day of Kwanzaa celebrates cooperative economics. In Canada, registering is free. In many countries, you need not worry about the cost of registration when you decide to sign up as a potential bone marrow donor. Many people worry about the cost of donation, but the donor does not pay for the donation. Instead, depending on where one lives, the donor, donor's insurance covers it, the medical system, and/or special programs run by the registry to help those in need cover it.

This year, we wrote about ways to register for free in the United States. More than half of the world's donor pool lives in the United States, but it costs money to register. There are still many ways to register for free. If you are in a minority donor pool, you can register for free if you present yourself at a donor centre and funds are available. Also, many blood collection agencies allow people to make two platelet donations in exchange for free registration. Many bone marrow drives offer subsidized registration, which means that registrants pay nothing or less than usual. Online registration with the National Marrow Donor Program in the US can be subsidized if you have been provided a promotional code. Online registration with DKMS Americas is free, but people will be asked if they can make a donation.

In all cases people should pay what they can. Why? Because nothing is ever truly free. When someone registers for free, it means the money has been paid by someone else at some point. Donations gathered at bone marrow drives go toward lab typing costs for another person. When Emru died, we asked for donations to two organizations: The National Marrow Donor Program and The African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust. The funds for the donation to the NMDP will go toward paying for someone to register in the United States. 49% of all matches in the US involve an international recipient or donor, so people are being helped everywhere.

On a community level, the funds for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust will go toward covering their costs for their tireless work. Their ultimate initiative is the establishment of a registry for African Caribbean and mixed ethnicity donors.

On a personal level, many people stepped forward to help Emru's appeal. People chipped in to help subsidize flyers, print ads, buttons, and much more. We couldn't have done it on the level we did without you.

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May 5, 2008

If you are not a US resident, this is still important information. Even if you do not live in the US, people who register in the US could save the life of a person anywhere in the world, maybe even where you live. So tell someone about this.

The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has finally included the details of free registration during its Thanks Mom campaign, from May 5 to May 19.

During the event, costs to join the Registry online or at a bone marrow drive are paid for by generous partners and contributors so that it is

Free for the first 46,000 people who join the registry via the NMDP.

This includes the first 10,000 who register for a kit online.

In the US, you get the inside of your cheek swabbed. You get a kit at home or you go to a sponsored NMDP bone marrow drive.

To register online or find the nearest NMDP bone marrow drive, go to You can also find a list of some of this week's drives in an earlier post.


-70% of the people who need a bone marrow transplant will need an unrelated donor

-Many people will not find their match, so more people are needed

-The most likely match the same or similar ethnicity

-There is a severe shortage of people of African descent on the registries worldwide. It is very hard to match someone who is African Caribbean. There are others who are even harder to find a match for. If you are Chinese, it is very difficult to find a match. There are severe shortage of people of many ethnicities and you may be surprised to find out you are on the list.

-49% of the matches in the US involve an international donor or recipient, including recipients in countries where there are no registries, which includes all of the Caribbean.

-This is a life-saving procedure for the recipient that is low-risk, not time-consuming, and not done at a cost to the donor.

There are a lot of myths surrounding donation. The facts may surprise you. If you want to know more about the two types of donation, watch this video.

As you've seen in the donor stories, we have found, the few people who donated twice, have said they had no problem agreeing to do it again.

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April 17, 2008

Free for minorities, reduced cost ($25) otherwise. From Fremont Public Library...Let's Talk!:
A blood and bone marrow drive will be held at the College of Lake County on Wednesday, April 23. The drive is sponsored by the CLC Health Center and LifeSource and will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Anderson Court, located in Building A on the Grayslake Campus, 19351 W. Washington St.

An oral swab is taken to determine if potential donors are a bone marrow match. There is a $25 charge for the blood marrow donation. Exempt from the fee are minority groups (Asian, Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, Native American), fire fighters, police officers and college students in health care fields.

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April 11, 2008

$30 registration for Caucasians, free for minorities. From the Grand Junction Free Press:
Anyone else willing to help Bryson or become a match for others can come to the DoubleTree Hotel, 743 Horizon Drive, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to submit a cheek swab and enter their name on the National Marrow Donor Program Registry.

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Reduced registration costs for Caucasians ($25) and free registration for minorities at a drive happening in Las Vegas this afternoon. From KVBC News 3, the location and time:
Dean Allen Elementary
Multipurpose Room
Friday, April 11, 2008
2pm to 6pm
8680 W. Hammer Lane Las Vegas, NV 89129

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April 4, 2008

From the McDuffie Mirror:
A marrow drive will be held at Marshall Baptist Church from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, April 19, in the fellowship hall.

Ms. McTier said there is a cost of joining the registry of $52 per donor. This cost covers the tissue-typing (HLA) and adding the donor to the registry. But Ms. McTier has received some community-matching funds which will reduce the cost to $25 per person. "We are praying for the remaining funds so our Marrow Donor Drive will be at no expense to each donor," she said.

Those who cannot be a donor are asked to consider making a contribution so that someone else can become a donor. Donations are tax-deductible.

Marshall is located at 436 Marshall Church Road, Thomson, GA 30824. For more information, visit or call Karen McTier at 706-595-6325 (email

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