A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones.
When you donate bone marrow, you help to make a difference to the lives of patients with blood disorders such as thalassemia and blood cancers such as leukemia. The process to collect bone marrow stem cells is called Leukapheresis. Under this process, the donor is first given 5 days of shots to help stem cells move from the bone marrow into the blood.
During leukapheresis, blood is removed from the donor through an IV line in a vein. The part of white blood cells that contains stem cells is then separated in a machine before being returned to the donor. Research shows that bone marrow stem cells can also be collected from the umbilical cord during childbirth.