Donating Bone Marrow

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2005

Has anyone out there ever been a bone marrow donor? I have a cousin with acute mylegenous leukemia who needs a transplant. I am interested to know the details such as what the procedure involves and what is the recovery time for a donor. My health is pretty good, but I have two small children and my cousin lives out of state. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. bk

There is a new way of donating bone marrow, and it is almost like the procedure for donating blood. You should call the Bone Marrow Assocation and find out. It should be painless and stress-free. Good luck!
a donor who's never donated

I was a bone marrow doner and feel it is one of the best things I've ever done. It was for my brother who had leukemia, which has never returned since the transplant 15 years ago. He has since begun a family, and him and his wife named their first born after me!

In terms of recovery, it was fairly smooth (although I didn't have kids at the time). I had to stay in Washington, DC, (where my brother was being treated) about 4 days. His medical insurance company paid for my associated medical and travel expenses.

I do recall feeling tired, especially the first few days, and mildly so for about 2 weeks afterward. The worst was the spinal headaches that I developed (happens only in a very small percentage of cases receiving spinal anesthesia). The headaches went away immediately following a very quick doctors's office procedure.

No lasting scars at the harvest site. All in all I felt honored to have the opportunity and would do it again in a heartbeat! Donna