Those with sleep apnea, insulin-dependent diabetes, immune system deficiencies, and chronic back programs that require rods may not donate.
Every donor put on the registry costs Be the Match $100. Donors are not required to pay that amount but donations are accepted, Letterle said.
If someone is a tissue match for someone awaiting a transplant, the patient's physician will decide if the patient gets a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. Most of the time the patient gets a stem cell transplant. Around 30 percent of the time they will receive a traditional bone marrow transplant.
The procedure to give bone marrow is done while the donor is under anesthesia, despite what people may have seen on television or in movies, Letterle said.
"What they see on television shows and movies -- it's dramatic and not always quite reality," Letterle said. "It's a lot less than what they show on TV."
Stem cells donations are similar to blood plasma donations, Letterle said. In the days leading up to the donation, the donor is given a drug that makes the body produce more stem cells. On the day of the donation, blood is taken from the donor's arm, pumped into a machine that separates the stem cells and then put back into the person's other arm, she said.
After a person is found to be a match for someone, they have the opportunity to donate but are not required to do so, Letterle said.
For more information, visit http://marrow.org/Home.aspx
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.