25 Years Old
Profession: Derivatives Trader
I registered with the National Marrow Donor Program in 2001 while in college as part of a drive that was held on campus. I didn't think much of it at the time, and I didn't hear back from the NMDP for a long time. The NMDP tracked me down more that six years later in early 2007 and told me that a child in another country needed a transplant. I was glad to say yes but I was also nervous about the procedure. They asked me some health questions and told me I could donate peripheral blood stem cells. I met with coordinators, doctors, and nurses who all make sure that both the patient and recipient are never at risk from the donation.
The donation took place after five days of receiving filgrastim injections. The side effects I felt were bone pain and tiredness. It was similar to being sore after physical activity. On the fifth day I went through an apheresis where blood is drawn out of one arm, sent through a machine that separates the stem cells, and returned back through the other arm. It ended up being very simple, and all the side effects of the injections wane hours after the collection.
I was told very little about the recipient because he was in another country. I do know that he received the transplant, but I will most likely not know the outcome of the procedure.
I would encourage everyone to become a part of the registry because itâ€™s a rare opportunity to help another person. From the outside the procedure seems intimidating, but its nothing compared to what a recipient goes through. Also the NMDP is full of wonderful people that always have your best interests at heart. If I was asked to donate again I would not hesitate to say yes.