How do bone marrow donations help whānau?

Giving Bone Marrow is giving the gift of life to someone who needs it. It may be someone in your whānau, hapu or iwi, or someone in your community or could be sent to the other side of the world. It may be a new born baby, someone’s Mum, Aunty or cousin. Whoever it is, they will be grateful for this gift.

You can make a huge difference in someone’s life

Is it ok to do a karakia when donating marrow?

Absolutely! We know this is an important ritual to lift tapu, so we are happy for you to do a karakia when donating bone marrow

Can I bring my whānau with me?

You are encouraged to bring your whānau to the donor medical interview and to accompany you to NZ Blood Service Rooms for the collection of Bone Marrow cells.

What do we do with your bone marrow cells after you donate it?

We label every bag with a unique number so that we can match it with tests taken and give the correct product to the right patient.

Bone Marrow donations, are carefully handled and treated with respect, in helping  to save the lives of patients with serious bone marrow diseases, such as leukaemia

Can I request for my marrow to go to only my whānau?

Donors on the registry are those individuals who have volunteered to provide their marrow stem cells to anyone in the world who needs this life saving donation Each donation given provides a chance to help someone else, and one day it could be you or someone in your whānau who may need donated stem cells

Why do we need more Māori males to join the Registry for Bone Marrow donors?

Ancestry plays a big role in finding a matched  bone marrow donor. The patient is most likely to match someone of the same ethnicity. In contrast to Māori , European donors are more readily available via the International Donor Registry (Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide has almost 40 million donors available worldwide).  

Males are usually preferred as donors for the following reasons 1) they often have veins that are more easily accessed, 2) they have a larger body mass allowing more marrow stem cells to be collected, and 3) importantly they do not develop antibodies against marrow cells that are sometimes generated in pregnancy.  

You can join by donating a unit of blood at the NZ Blood Service and letting them know you want to join the Registry at the same time.

Currently, European patients have access to over 20 million Europeans on worldwide registries, compared to just 5,000 Māori on the NZ Registry which is why the NZ Bone Marrow Donor Registry need more Māori males to join up.