Monday, May 02, 2005

Bone Marrow Donation Update

My human leukocyte antigens (HLA), were assessed for bone marrow donation when I joined the registry back in 2001. There are three designated HLA’s integral to bone marrow transplants (HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-DRB1). You inherit one set of these three antigens from each parent giving you a total of six HLA’s. In the case of bone marrow donation, tissue typing is critical, so a perfect "six-of-six" match is required. I am a "six-of-six" unrelated match with this person, the recipient, which is fairly remarkable in itself.

Today I went to the Canadian Blood Services in Edmonton for further blood typing to ascertain my compatibility. As well as testing me for every infectious disease it is even remotely possible for me to have, they took enough blood (10 vials) for detailed DNA analysis to compare the DNA code of my HLA’s to those of the recipient. They will also crossmatch our tissue to further determine antigen compatibility. In this test, my white blood cells will be mixed with blood from the recipient to establish if I am compatible with the recipient, meaning how the recipient's immune system reacts will verify if it will ultimately accept my donated marrow or destroy it.

The blood and tissue typing is so rigorous because compatibility between the donor and recipient is essential to a successful transplant. Many potential donors are ruled out in this stage, indeed the odds of two individuals matching are apparently 1 in 50,000, so I guess we are playing the waiting game until the results are in.

Depending on those results, the next step for me is a complete physical exam, review of my medical history and possibly a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, blood tests, urine tests, gynecological exam (ewww) and mammograph... etc. Then the recipient will begin undergoing a massive chemotherapy regime designed to temporarily suppress their own immune system, to facilitate a successful transplant and acceptance of the bone marrow.

For now, I am just letting be what will be. I am sure the path will soon become clear, but I am happy to walk it for as long as there is a path to follow.

In the meantime, I encourage all of my readers to consider placing their names on the Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry, regardless of what country you are in. If you have any questions about it, you can email me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OVER 450 JEHOVAH'S WITNESS LAWSUITS, COURT CASES, ETC SUMMARIZED


This website summarizes 300 United States court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah's Witnesses, including dozens of cases where the Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions:

DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com/



This website summarizes 160 United States court cases and lawsuits filed by Jehovah's Witnesses against Employers:

EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH'S WITNESS EMPLOYEES

http://jwemployees.bravehost.com