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Become a donor

For patients who have to undergo a stem cell transplant, stem cells from a donor are often their last chance at life. You can give someone that chance by registering as a stem cell donor!

Register now

This video gives a short explanation about what stem cell donation is.

If you would like to become a stem cell donor, register by completing the form on this website. Stem cells are only taken from an adult donor when they are needed. You can sign up as a new donor by filling out this registration form. We need a lot of information about you as we want to make sure that there are no risks for you as a donor. This is why the form includes a full list of medical questions.

Oral mucosa
Once you’ve answered all of the questions fully, we will send you a registration kit. You use this to take a sample of your oral mucosa from the inside of your cheek and then send it back to Matchis. Your so-called HLA tissue type is determined in a laboratory and the results are then registered anonymously in a global database.

Actual donation
Once you are registered in the database, the chance that you will be requested to donate stem cells is small. In any one year, only one in a thousand donors in the Dutch stem cell database will actually be requested to donate stem cells.

If you are a match with a patient, we will contact you. The actual donation of stem cells will only take place once you have been fully informed and passed an extensive medical examination.

When you are asked to donate stem cells, there are two ways of doing this:

  1. For a bone marrow donation you will have to be given a general anaesthetic, so you will feel absolutely nothing. After the donation you will have a sort of bruised or muscle ache type feeling in your lower back. You will also be tired. That’s because we’ve taken some of your stem cells. Within a few days that bruised feeling and the fatigue will have gone. Within a couple of weeks, you will be fully recovered.
  2. For a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation (PBSC) you will have to take medication for five days prior to the donation. This medication can cause a bit of bone or muscle ache and a flu-like feeling. This will also disappear within a couple days.

In 70% of the cases, stem cell donation is done using the PBSC method. For both methods you will have to stay in hospital for just one day. This will be done in the LUMC in Leiden or the Radboudumc in Nijmegen.

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