Quick eligibility check
Any person between the age group of 18 to 55 with no prior medical history of a life threatening disorder or allergies, autoimmune disorders, cancer and contagious diseases may register as a donor. Here are detailed guidelines for prospective donors to screen and scrutinize themselves before joining the registry.
Your first step to commit change is to register
You can follow these steps to register as a stem cell donor:
- Attend a counselling session: This will help you to understand the importance of being a potential blood stem cell donor. By donating some of your healthy blood stem cells, you can gift a chance of life. The complete process of blood stem cell donation is explained in the counselling session.
- Complete the donor consent form: Anyone in the age group of 18 years to 50 years can come register.
- Give a blood sample or cheek swab sample: HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) report is generated using the sample collected. HLA report is essential to match a donor to a patient. Only if the HLA report matches with a patient, you would be required to donate your stem cells.
The process of donation followed is the peripheral blood stem cell donation (PBSC). It is a non-surgical process using the apheresis machine. Five days prior to your PBSC donation, you would be given growth factor injections to increase the number of blood forming cells in the bloodstream. On the day of donation, blood from one arm is taken and passed through apheresis machine, where only blood forming cells are separated. The remaining blood is returned to the other arm.
- Why should I donate my stem cells?
The statistical fact that just 1 in 4 (25%) of all blood disorder patients find a match amongst their siblings forms the rationale behind stem cell donations and a localised donor database. Currently the number of donors in Indian registries is dismal and this gap can also be closed by philanthropic giving and humanitarian magnanimity.
- Is the stem cell extraction procedure painful entailing side-effects?
In the case of stem cells being collected from the peripheral blood, a growth factor drug is injected into the donor for four consecutive days, whereby the bone marrow within the body is coaxed towards producing and emancipating seraphic stem cells, through to the main bloodstream. The ensuing side effects may include pain in the bones, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, sleeping discomfort, mild fever, and weakness which subside in entirety once the harvesting procedure is over. No lasting effects have been noticed or recorded in medical history to date.
- Who will bear the costs incurred at my end during the extraction process?
The recipient patient shall endow for all expenses and bills incurred by the stem cell donor. All expenses including the tests, hospitalisation, transportation, and medication if required, shall be paid to the full.
- How can I join the donor registry?
The timely organised camps by GENEBANDHU, provide an opportunity to become a donor by voluntarily offering a sample of blood or a swab from cheek inside the mouth. You may even walk into our office to register.
- Does registering as a donor costs me anything?
Registering as a donor would not cost you anything.
- What is HLA?
Human leukocyte Antigen (HLA) is the locus point of encoding genes for proteins, existing on the cellular surface that modulate and regulate the human immune system. They are often the paramount reason for organ transplant rejections and are crucial mechanisms for disease defence within the body.
- In case of an imminent relocation can a donor still register?
If the donor relocates to another state, city, or town, their new address would be updated on the common database platform of volunteer stem cell donors, which is coordinated, streamlined and synergised by the global working body namely Bone Marrow Donor Worldwide. This vital data is accessible to all cancer patients, healthcare providers, donor registries, and caretakers’ world over.
- Does stem cell donation entail travelling?
The volunteer team of GENEBANDHU works with diligence and care to ensure that the donor is administered the growth factor injections at a convenient time and location preferred by the donor. Although, for the actual stem cell extraction and harvesting procedure, one of our volunteers would escort the donor to the out-patient department of our associated hospital and accompany them back after completing the donation procedure.
- What is the eligibility criteria for stem cell donation?
Any person between the age group of 18 to 55 with no prior medical history of a life threatening disorder or allergies, autoimmune disorders, and contagious diseases may register as a donor. Here are detailed guidelines for prospective donors to screen and scrutinize themselves before joining the registry.
- HIV/ AIDS
Those who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS shall not be eligible for becoming a donor. People who seemingly display behaviour patterns that may endanger them towards acquiring HIV, are also barred from registering as a donor.
- Fatal Allergies
For people suffering from consequentially far-reaching allergic conditions especially to medication will require detailed medical assessment and analysis before registering as a donor.
Severe Arthritic condition afflicting the spinal cord and at an advanced stage, forms the medical basis for rejecting a potentialdonor of stem cells. These include Rheumatoid, Psoriatic and Reactive.
- Auto Immune Disorders
People suffering from the following autoimmune disorders are neither eligible nor permitted to register as a donor with us.
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Idiopathic Thrombocytic Purpura
- Antiphospholipid Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Neurological Conditions or Surgery
Patients enduring neurological diseases either with symptoms or asymptomatic and having undergone brain surgery of any kind, are unable to become a donor.
- Is communication with other donors a possibility?
Yes, it is. We endeavour to not only to create a network of considerately sympathetic noble-hearted souls, but also facilitate interactions among them.
- Can a meeting between donor and the recipient patient be arranged?
Meeting the patient and their family cannot happen before the transplant. For privacy concerns a gap period of one year is required before making headway towards the patient-donor meeting.
- How does the registry work?
All the data collected on donors is recorded and kept in a computerized inventory at GENEBANDHU. The donor’s genetic profile is shared anonymously throughout the world. If a search of the registry reveals a compatible donor for a recipient, we communicate with the potential donor.
- How many donors are registered with GENEBANDHU?
There are around 10,000 donors registered with the GENEBANDHU Stem Cell Donor Registry.