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# MatchMyMix!

FAQ on the Stem Cell Donor Drive for Astrid

Can anyone attend the donor-drive?

Yes. Anyone can attend the event. It is merely to get a stem cell match for Astrid and other patients who require stem cell donation in the future. Please everyone is invited.

Must I be mixed-race to be a potential match?

Does the process of matching involve needle-pricking or any painful procedure?
No. The matching process is absolutely pain-free. It only requires swabbing the inside of your mouth with a sterile buccal- swab. A buccal swab, also known as buccal smear, is a way to collect DNA from the cells on the inside of a person's cheek. Buccal swabs are a relatively non-invasive way to collect DNA samples for testing. Buccal means cheek or mouth

Do I have to eat before I can be tested?
If you’re interested to get tested, you are required to refrain from consuming any food, chewing gum and beverages for an hour before coming through for the testing/cotton-swab.

What is blood stem cell?
An immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Blood stem cells are found in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow. Also called hematopoietic stem cell.

What is stem cell transplant?
A stem cell transplant is a procedure in which a patient receives healthy blood-forming cells (stem cells) to replace their own that have been destroyed by disease or other causes. The healthy stem cells may come from the blood or bone marrow of the patient, or from a donor.

How is the testing process?
The testing process requires the potential donor to sign a consent form, then he/she will be required to swab the inside of their mouth with a buccal-swab (like cotton-bud) to be provided at the venue. The swabs will be sent to laboratory where they will HLA type the donor’s sample. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing is used to match patients and donors for blood stem cell transplants. HLA are proteins -- or markers -- found on most cells in your body. Your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not.

Any side-effects?
There are generally no side effects from the matching-process.

Where will it be done?
The swabbing will be done at the venues for the Stem Cell Donor Drive in Abuja, Enugu and Lagos.

Do I have to pay for anything?
The potential donor does not have to pay for anything. The entire process is absolutely free of charge.

In case I am a match - how are the stem cells donated?
In almost all cases, the stem cells are collected from the blood flow, by means of a procedure that is quite similar to a blood donation. This requires no surgery and just takes a few hours. The donor‘s stem cells will renew themselves after a few days.

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