Many of you have been asking how you can get tested to see if you're a match for Sam's transplant. First off, thank you so much. That's an incredible offer, and it would be a dream come true to discover one of our friends happens to be a perfect match! We are deeply touched by your generosity. Hopefully you'll find this information to be helpful.
A perfect match for a stem cell transplant happens when a certain group of 5 genes (or 10 alleles) responsible for 'self-recognition' contain identical markers. Testing requires a simple mouth swab. There are two options for potential donors who want to help Sam. You can get tested through the Nation Bone Marrow Registry, which is constantly being updated as Memorial Sloan-Kettering searches for his donor, or you could use a private service called Kashi Clinical Laboratories that will send you a kit and give its preliminary results to Sam's doctor directly.
In the first case, you would be joining a national donor bank and would be indicating a strong commitment to becoming a stem cell donor not only for Sam but for anyone else in need in the future. In the second case, you would be tested to be a potential match for Sam and would not be joining a national registry.
Becoming a Donor
Sam will likely be receiving a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. It involves the donor getting daily injections over five days of a drug that stimulates the release of stem cells into the bloodstream. These blood-forming cells are extracted from the donor's blood in a process similar to a regular (though longer) platelet donation. The side effects may include mild muscle aches from the injections which disappear shortly after the donation is complete. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding you are not a candidate, though we certainly appreciate the offers!
If you make the decision to get tested, in order to be useful to Sam, the sooner you get started, the better. It will take some time to get tested and analyze the results so we encourage fast action. Below is some information on how to get tested. Feel free to call or email with questions and please forward this on to any friends or family who may be interested.
1) Kashi Laboratories
This is a private process. You can request a test kit for $175. When filling out the form you must note Sam's name (Sam Tripson) and his doctor's name and contact info.
Dr. Matthew Matasar
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065
2) The National Bone Marrow Registry
You can join the registry online for $52 by ordering a simple kit. If you go this route and want to know if you are a match for Sam, please request your donor ID number and give it to us. We can contact the people conducting the search at Sloan-Kettering and make sure the donor registry has been searched since your entry was added.
If you're in NYC or DC you can go to a National Marrow Donor Program office and be tested. It costs $65.
33 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
400 Seventh Street, Northwest
Again, thank you so much for all of the love and support. How amazing it would be to know our donor!! And, of course, this would qualify you for a lifetime of free baked goods!