How long does it take to find an unrelated donor?
Identifying a donor involves many factors, so the length of a donor search varies from patient to patient. How many possible matches exist, how long it takes to receive samples to confirm typing, and donor availability can all affect the length of a donor search.

What is the cost of donor typing?
Through Children's Hospital of Alabama, donor typing is free for immediate family members. Extended family members and friends interested in becoming a marrow donor should contact the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which will provide typing services for a cost of $60.00. This fee may be covered by the donor's health care insurance plan.

What is the donor process?
The bone marrow donor process begins with a physical evaluation, which includes basic blood tests and screening for infectious disease. If the donor is approved, the donor will have to attend a pre-operative appointment before the bone marrow harvest which is a surgical procedure to collect the bone marrow.

How long do donors have to stay in the hospital after the bone marrow harvest?
Bone marrow donors stay one night for observation after the bone marrow harvest. If the donor is a child, he or she will be admitted to the transplantation unit if a bed is available.

Can I contact my child's unrelated bone marrow donor?
For the first year after your child's transplant you can have anonymous contact with the donor. Communication is usually facilitated through the NMDP. You may send written correspondence, but no personal information, names or geographical references are allowed. After one year, if both parties agree, you may directly contact the donor.