The information provided is intended only as a helpful resource. Can Do Coalition does not endorse any specific registry. We will make our best effort to update links. Be advised: If a link has been changed by a publisher, the links provided may no longer be valid.
Stem cells have the remarkable ability to develop into more than one cell type. For example, stem cells of the blood (hematopoietic stem cells) can and do generate red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells.
Most stem cells are found in the bone marrow, but some stem cells called peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) can be found in the bloodstream. Umbilical cord blood also contains stem cells.
In addition to being a critical tool for helping leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-cancer patients save their lives, stem cells hold the promise to help even more folks: Macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, and the list goes on.
Each year, thousands of people (including children) are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases for which a peripheral blood stem cell, cord blood or bone marrow transplant may offer the only chance for a cure. Additionally, stem cells are increasing being used for many other therapies:
Is there a good video that explains the stem cell volunteer process?
Yes, here is a good explainer video on what it means to be a volunteer in a stem cell registry:
Can I join a volunteer stem cell registry through an online process?
Yes! Many registries now have an online process. The National Marrow Donor Program, for example, is a well known registry in the United States that offers an online sign-up option. To see a complete list of all volunteer stem cell registries across the globe, you can explore the World Marrow Donor Association database. To identify if your countries specific registry/registries offer an online volunteer registration option, please use the contact information provided in the WMDA database and contact them directly.
Where can I go to find registries in my area and learn more about becoming a volunteer?
Whichever registry you elect to volunteer with, please make sure you keep them abreast of your latest contact information. To this end, we strongly recommend you provide your selected registry with your email address so even if your home address and home phone number changes in the future, they can still reach you.
Bone-marrow is the soft, sponge-like material found inside bones. It contains immature cells called stem cells.
Bone-marrow transplantation (BMT) and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) are procedures that restore stem cells that have been destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Cord Blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth. It contains large numbers of blood stem cells. For this reason, blood stem cells from the placenta and umbilical cord can be collected after birth and stored for a potential future transplant. For more information click here:
You can also give the National Marrow Donor Program a call to get more information: 1-800-627-7692
Typically, what age do you need to be in order to be a donor?
Keep in mind that there is more than one volunteer stem cell registry, each with its own policy. That said, in general, you must be at least 18 but not older than 60 to be a donor. Everyone's situation is unique, however, so if you feel that you are healthy and could potentially be a great donor, please contact the registry of your choice and they will let you know their latest guidelines. To find a volunteer stem cell registry, close to you:
Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) are proteins you inherit from your parents. Together, your HLA proteins, or markers, make up your HLA type. When someone you love is in need of allogeneic transplant, for example, your child has leukemia and needs to find a Matching Unrelated Donor (MUD), your doctor will search the volunteer stem cell registries for the best HLA match available.
Can Do Coalition is volunteer nonprofit organization. The information provided within the Can Do Coalition website is intended as best-effort helpful resource. Can Do Coalition does not endorse any specific registry.