Lansing, Mich. — (WLNS):
Are you feeling generous today?
If so, you can show your love by registering to become an organ, eye, blood, platelets and tissue donor.
Each year, National Donor Day is observed on February 14 to educate people about the benefits of signing up to be a donor.
It is also a day to recognize people who have both received and given organs, tissues and blood.
And if you’re wondering what are the risks of donating? Am I eligible? Does it cost anything?
Here is a brief Q&A that could be useful in helping you make your decision:
Am I eligible to join the registry?
- yes, if you are between the ages of 18 and 60 years old
- yes, if you live in the U.S.
- Meet health guidelines
- are wiling to donate to any patient in need
- *if you are between ages 18 and 44, there is a higher demand for patients in your age range because research has showed that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants.
- individuals who are 45-60 years old are required to cover their own cost of joining ($100)
How does the donation process occur?
- it all depends on what you are donating
- for example, if you are donating stem cells, you are most likely going to under a a PBSC Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation process — this occurs when a machine takes blood from one arm, extracts the cells it needs and returns the remaining blood through your other arm
- another form of donation is marrow — liquid marrow is taken from the back of your pelvic bone with a needle (but don’t worry, you are put under anesthesia)
Is this a painful process?
- there might be a lot of discussion surrounding the idea that donating is a painful process
- however, during the marrow donation, you’re under anesthesia to feel less pain
- the side effects after the procedure include: back pain, fatigue, headache or bruising
- PBSC donors may experience headaches or body aches several days before collection, but these disappear shortly after donation.
If you are interesting in registering to become a donor, please reference the following links:
Donate Life: https://www.donatelife.net/register/