Becoming a Stem Cell Donor

Henry Ford was the first center in Michigan to perform a transplant using stem cells taken from the bloodstream. Called a peripheral blood transplant, the procedure is less painful and quicker to recover from than tapping the bone marrow in the hipbone.

Both methods are very safe, whether your own stem cells are being collected or you are donating. Our doctors work with you to determine the best approach.

Ways to donate stem cells

Whether you are providing cells for your own transplant, helping a family member or assisting someone else in need, doctors can collect stem cells from several different sources:

  • Blood: Bone marrow releases a small amount of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) into your bloodstream. Medication increases the production of PBSCs, ensuring that there are enough to collect and use in a transplant. Learn more about donating peripheral blood stem cells.
  • Bone marrow: This sponge-like tissue makes stem cells and is found in the center of many bones. Your hipbones contain the largest amount of bone marrow and stem cells. Learn more about donating bone marrow.
  • Umbilical cord blood: Umbilical cord blood collected during childbirth contains small amounts of stem cells. Our doctors combine umbilical cord blood from two different donors to get enough stem cells for one adult transplant. Learn more about donating cord blood.
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