Six things that DON't stop you from becoming a blood stem cell donor

28 February 2018

6 myths that don't stop you from becoming a blood stem cell donor

Sometimes there can be confusion about which rules apply when registering as a potential blood stem cell donor. Here are six misconceptions about factors that people often wrongly believe would prevent them from becoming a potential blood stem cell donor…

1. “I’m in a same-sex relationship”

Sexual orientation does not make people ineligible to register as a potential blood stem cell donor and is not part of our eligibility criteria.

2. “I’m 30+”

We register people aged 17-55 and in good general health. People stay on the registry until they turn 61!

3. “I’m pregnant”

If you are pregnant, you can still register! However, once registered you’d need to email to inform us of your pregnancy and due date, as we will need to block your registration for six months after giving birth.

4. “I have a cold/the flu”

Suffering from a cold or flu doesn’t affect your cheek swab sample, so you can still register during this time.

5. “I don’t know my blood type”⁉️

Despite some similarities, blood stem cell donation is different to donating blood. Blood stem cell matches are determined by a person’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type, not by blood types. Blood stem cell donors donate only stem cells, rather than blood.

6. “I’ve got piercings and/or tattoos”

This doesn’t stop you from joining the registry. However if you are identified as a match for someone and you got a piercing or a tattoo within the last four months, you’d need to let our team know.

Were any of these a surprise to you? There are lots of questions that people have before registering as a potential blood stem cell donor, and about the donation process too. If you have any other questions then check out our FAQs page or email and we’ll clarify whether you’re eligible to join the registry.

Or, if you can’t register or have already done it, there are lots of other ways people can support the fight against blood cancer, why not get involved or help us cover donor registration costs!