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Searching for a Marrow Donor or Cord Blood Unit

If you need an allogeneic transplant, the cells you receive will come from someone else. Your doctor will look for a donor in your family who matches your human leukocyte antigens, or HLA, type. These are markers your body uses to know which cells belong in your body and which don't. 

HLA tissue types are inherited, so your best chance of finding a match is with a brother or sister who have the same two biological parents. However, 70% of patients do not have a suitable donor in their family. If you do not have a donor in your family, your doctor can search for a marrow donor or cord blood unit.

The registry of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, also called the Be The Match Registry®, is a listing of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units. The registry is operated under Federal contracts by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).

Find more information about The Search Process, HRSA Exit Disclaimer including when your doctor may begin to search a listing of potential marrow donors and cord blood units throughout the world. NMDP/Be The Match has agreements with its global partners to provide access to over 21.5 million potential marrow donors and 480,000 cord blood units through the NMDP potential potential marrow donor and cord blood unit lists within its search system. An additional 12 million potential marrow donors and nearly 300,000 cord blood units can be viewed as international sources within an NMDP/Be The Match search.

Learn how patients who need a transplant are being given hope by the Be The Match Registry. HRSA Exit Disclaimer

It can take a few weeks to a few months or more to find a marrow donor or cord blood unit. However, sometimes a matching marrow donor or cord blood unit cannot be found. If your doctor cannot find a suitable match for you, he or she will look at other treatment options.

Sometimes, family and friends want to help by adding more donors to the registry. Be The Match can help with donor recruitment efforts.

When friends or family want to help see Host a Donor Drive. HRSA Exit Disclaimer