EDIT4: Taking a break to finish up and head home from the hospital. I will continue answering questions later on this afternoon and evening, although I'm told I'm going to be pretty tired for the rest of the day. Thanks to others who have provided info on this procedure.
Please go to www.bethematch.org and sign up to donate. All it takes is a couple of minutes to fill out your information, then you receive some cheek swabs in the mail. After you send them back, you're on the registry.
Only about 1 in 540 people are selected to donate once they've signed up. About 80% of those give through a PBSC donation, like I did. This involves 5 days of injections to stimulate your bones to release stem cells into the bloodstream. The injections cause very mild pain in bones like your hips -- like having the flu for a few days for most people, for me, it was even easier. On the fifth day, the donor visits the hospital to undergo apheresis, a procedure where they run your blood through a machine and remove stem cells. It's super easy. The worst part about it is that it's boring (for me, it lasted about 4 hours, but can last even longer)... but if you're doing a reddit AMA, it goes by very quickly. :)
Please sign up!
EDIT3: Almost done here. Apparently, my blood is packed with stem cells. I will continue answering questions throughout the day... and once they take these IVs out I can type with both hands.
Don't forget to sign up: www.BeTheMatch.org
EDIT2: Thanks to Lyralou for pointing out that registries are desperately in need of donors of color. Sign up! http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1mklrw/i_am_donating_bone_marrow_right_now_ama/cca5i6h
From StvYzerman: "As many have said, we desperately need more minorities on the registry. A caucasian patient has about a 70% or greater chance of finding a match, while an African-American has only a 30% chance or less. Other minorities have even worse numbers."
EDIT: Do I look like I'm in pain? http://i.imgur.com/[removed]
I'm at the Nat'l Institutes of Health undergoing an apheresis procedure to remove stem cells as part of a bone marrow donation to an anonymous patient suffering from leukemia (a PBSC donation).
I highly recommend signing up for the Bone Marrow Donor Registry at www.bethematch.org. Save a life!
AMA! (I'm typing with only my left hand so be patient.)
Mods, I'll send proof through PM.
To sign up in other countries (thank, u/DonateYourMarrow):
EDIT: Correct link here: http://www.blivdonor.dk/index.php/knoglemarv (thanks, Lazin)
from kzilla03: I actually work for an organization in Southern California that does recruitment in minority communities. If you have room for a few more in California on your list the org I work for is called A3M (Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches www.a3mhope.org) and a similar org in Northern California called AADP (Asian American Donor Program www.aadp.org). Although Asian is in both our names, we focus on registering any minorities as it helps diversify the registry.