Catalina Pérez is a 5-year-old girl from Talca, Chile fighting severe aplastic anemia and she needs a bone marrow transplant. She was diagnosed in January 2019 and the family was devastated - they had never heard about the disease before. As the time progressed and Catalina was not responding well to the treatment, the word “severe” was added to the diagnosis. There are no matches in her family, so she will need an unrelated donor to save her life.
In early October, her entire city was mobilized to find her matching donor and more than 4,000 people registered to be potential lifesavers. While that is a tremendous response to her plea, there are still no matches on the registry anywhere. Her family is committed to registering even more people to find her "genetic twin."
"It is very important to continue the search for a genetic twin for Catalina because her life depends on it," says Ignacia Pattillo, donor recruitment manager for DKMS Chile. “Increasing the DKMS registry is not only important for Catalina, but for all patients in need of a bone marrow transplant. ”
“Today we all want a better world. And I think part of that is in ourselves. Like Catalina, there are many others still waiting for their lifesavers. And we need donors, ”said Veisa Montecinos, Catalina’s mother.
Lifesaving starts here!
Registering for the chance to save a life is exciting, but before you begin, please be sure you haven’t registered before with another donor center. Also, we ask that all registered donors be willing to donate to any patient. Lastly, please scroll down to review the two ways to donate.
Let's get started!SIGN UP
As a registered bone marrow donor, you will be on standby to save a life.
I currently reside in the United States.
I am a member of the military.
Please enter your date of birth.
Please enter your details
You are eligible!
Next step... Complete the registration process.
Thank you for caring.
Members of the military can register with The C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program.
Are you in overall good health?
We want to make sure that helping a patient won’t impact your health. Please review the following list of criteria. If you are not sure about a requirement, feel free to call us at 866.340.3567.
YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER IF YOU ARE:
- Between the ages of 18 and 55
- In good general health
- At least 4’10” and weigh more than 105 pounds, but not exceed a maximum BMI of 40.
YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER IF YOU HAVE:
- History of heart surgery or heart disease
- Autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia
- Sleep apnea, breathing problems or severe asthma (daily inhalers are acceptable)
- Diabetes requiring injectable medication
- Hepatitis B or C
- Kidney or liver disease
- History of stroke, including TIA
- Chronic or severe neck, spine or back problems
- Epilepsy or other seizure within one year
- History of blood clotting or bleeding disorders
- History of head injury or multiple concussions
- Personal history of cancer (exceptions: Stage 0 or in situ melanoma, breast, bladder, cervical and cured localized skin cancer such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma)
If you have questions about whether your medical history would prevent you from donating, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.209.6700.
Registering Online is easy, secure, and only takes 5 minutes. Though the chances to be called as a donor are rare - 1 in 430 - if called, you are likely the patient's best match. Your decision can give hope and a second chance at life.
After registering, you have to swab your cheeks and send the kit back to DKMS. It is all free of costs.
Get the kit and swab your cheeks
Mail back your kit
Click here to learn how to swab.
This is the donation method used in 75% of cases. Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that collects blood stem cells via the bloodstream. These same blood-forming cells found in bone marrow are also found in the circulating (peripheral) blood. It takes about 4-8 hours on 1-2 consecutive days.
This is the donation method used in about 25% of cases, generally when the patient is a child. It is a 1-2 hour surgical procedure performed under anesthesia, so no pain is experienced during the donation. Marrow cells are collected from the back of your pelvic bone using a syringe.
DKMS is the world’s largest bone marrow donor center with more than 9 million registered donors, more than 80,000 of whom have helped save lives by donating marrow or peripheral blood stem cells. Within the U.S., DKMS has registered more than 1 million donors and facilitated over 3,900 donations.