|How to Organize a Marrow Donor Drive|
Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) is affiliated with the Be The Match Registry and recruits potential marrow donors from communities primarily in Southern California.
What is a bone marrow drive?
A bone marrow drive is an organized effort to inform, educate, and recruit potential marrow donors for the Be The Match Registry. Drives can be set for as short as 2 hours or as long as 6 hours. Once a donor is recruited, he/she is entered into the national database and remains on the registry until his/her 61st birthday and may be asked to donate marrow/blood cells to someone he/she does not know.
How does a marrow donor drive work?
The process begins with setting a date, location, and time to recruit a maximum number of potential marrow donors from your communities.
The next step is to schedule the drive. A3M staff requires the correct address and name of the site where the drive is going to take place, as well as information for the contact person. Equipment, such as tables and chairs, is requested to conduct the drive.
In order to have a successful drive, A3M needs support from the host organization to educate potential donors before the drive. A3M conducts presentations, helps publicize the drive, and acquires volunteers to help at the drive. A3M will distribute information regarding parking, the facility, driving directions, and the drive hours to all involved.
On the day of the drive:
A3M staff and volunteers will arrive at the drive site to set up half an hour to an hour before the start of the drive. Set up involves placing tables and chairs in an assigned area and situating posters and signs at strategic locations where people can view them easily and find directions to the drive site.
At the drive, A3M staff and volunteers will educate all interested people about the process of becoming a potential marrow donor by distributing flyers and answering questions.
When a person decides to register as a potential marrow donor and be part of the Be The Match Registry, A3M staff will ask the potential donor to complete a consent form. After ensuring that the registrant is eligible to be a potential marrow donor, a tissue sample is collected using a mouth swab and sent to a lab for human leukocyte antigen (marrow) typing.
The results are entered in a confidential and secure database. Patients looking for a bone marrow match can search this database. If you are identified as a potential match, you will be contacted by the program for further testing.