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Stem Cells = Blood forming cells
These cells mostly live in bone marrow where they divide and make new cells. a small amount of these cells get into the bloodstream, these are called peripheral blood stem cells.
Why are these so important?
Stem cells are used to replace bone marrow that has been destroyed by cancer or chemo and radiation. this treatment is especially useful for those with leukemia and multiple myeloma. donated cells have been shown to attack cancer cells better than the immune cells of the person with cancer.
how can you help?
there are several ways stem cells can be harvested from a donor.peripheral blood stem cell donation is a non-surgical procedure involving blood being drawn from the donor, the stem cells being separated, then the remaining blood is returned back to the body. donors who choose this route will receive injections of granulocyte colony stimulated factor 5 days prior to donation.
Secondly, a donor may choose to have their stem cells harvested through bone marrow stem cell donation. this option is a surgical procedure requiring anasthesia and lasts about 45-90 minutes. Stem cells will be harvested by hollow needles from the back of pelvic bones. recovery is mild and donors should be able to resume usual activity within several days of donation.
Lastly, if you are expecting, something to consider is harvesting stem cells from the umbilical cord after birth. this method is completely safe and harmless to mother and baby, and you have the option to put the stem cells in a public bank for anyone who is a match or you may store them for personal use, should anyone in your family ever need them.
if you wish to become a donor hero, please visit Be the match's website
or call 1-800-marrow-2
one cheek swab is all it takes to put yourself in the system and potentially save a life.