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I was a match for a patient but didn’t get to donate stem cells – Why not and what’s next?

Jun 29, 2023 by Gift of Life News

We know you were really excited to give someone a second chance at life – so why didn’t you get to donate?

You got that incredible phone call from Gift of Life that you were a match for a patient in need, and you could be selected to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow.  You may have gone on to take additional steps: a health history, a blood test, even a medical exam. Then, weeks later, you learned you were being released from donating and you want to know why.  Although the transplant center often does not give us a specific reason, it is usually one of these: 

Being released from donating is no reflection on you; it is purely a medical decision made by the transplant physician.  Every donation has the possibility that it may be cancelled or rescheduled. 

Here are the most common questions we hear from donors when they learn they won’t be going through to collection this time around. 

Was there something wrong with my health tests?  

No, if your tests showed you were not healthy enough to donate, we would have informed you right away that you would not be able to donate due to medical reasons.  

Will I be able to donate in the future?  

Yes, donors released back into the registry return to “available” status and may be matched with a different patient in the future.  

Since I won’t be donating this time, is there anything else I can do?  

Yes, there are many things you can do to help Gift of Life’s mission: 

What if I’m a match with someone else in the future?  

Now that your status is back to “available,” you could match another patient at any time. The process will follow the same steps:

P.S. Stem cell donors who choose to donate at our Adelson Collection Center in Boca Raton can look forward to four-star treatment at our beautiful facility.  There is no cost to you to donate. Gift of Life arranges all medical tests, travel, hotel, and transportation, and you will receive a meal stipend. 

Still have questions?  Please contact us and we'll be happy to answer them!