Where do I donate? How do I know I'm a match?
Doctors search the Pareto database every day for potential matches with their patients. Once you send in your cheek swab, your HLA type will be included in the database, and you'll be eligible to match!
The Pareto team will contact you as soon as you match. You'll receive a call and an email, so make sure your contact information is always updated!
Once you've been notified that you're a match with a patient, several things happen. After notification, you have a three month window to choose the most convenient time to donate. You can choose not to donate at any point during the process.
Information debrief: you'll be educated on the details of what the donation process entails, possible risks, and side effects. You'll learn where to go to complete the apheresis process, likely in the nearest major city to you.
Additional testing: you'll undergo additional tests such as a blood test and a thorough physical. This makes sure that you're still the best match possible for the patient, and that the donation process will be safe for you.
Once you're ready to donate, you'll go to your nearest apheresis center. Pareto covers all transportation costs you might incur. When you arrive, there's a process you'll follow:
Filgrastim injections: for five days prior to donation, you will receive an injection of filgrastim, which increases the number of stem cells in your bloodstream. This ensures a better chance of treatment success for the patient. There are some side effects donors may experience during this process, such as headache or general achiness, similar to a cold or flu.
Apheresis: During apheresis, some of your blood is drawn and passed through a sophisticated cell-separating machine. The machine collects the PBSCs and safely returns the remaining blood components back to you. It's a relatively painless procedure lasting about 3-4 hours, and most donors watch a movie during it.
Once you've donated, you'll know that you provided a lifesaving treatment for a patient, and be compensated as well.
Compensation: After donation, you will receive either a check or direct deposit for $10,000.
Recovery: Most donors recover fully within 1-7 days of donation. The most common side effect after donation is fatigue.