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Frequently Asked Questions

How Old Do I Need to Be to Register and Donate?

Anyone 18-44 years old in the United States can join the Registry.

Can I Still Register and Donate if I am not a U.S Citizen?

A person does not have to be a citizen of the US or even documented to join. All information is confidential. A person only needs an address, cell phone number and email to join.

How Long Does it Take to Register?

Online registration takes 10 minutes and completing and returning a cheek swab kit only takes a few minutes.

How do I use my Cheek Swab Kit?

After signing up for the registry Be the Match will send you a cheek swab kit in the mail to collect your donation sample. For a walkthrough on how to collect your sample please watch the Be The Match Instructional Video linked here.

What Happens to My Cheek Swab Sample?

Any personal health information you provide to Be The Match, including your DNA sample, will be kept confidential. 

  • Maintaining your trust is essential to saving lives. That’s why your personal identifying information will not be shared with any companies or government agencies.

  • Be The Match has rules in place to protect the rights and privacy of both donors and patients.

  • Information about your genetic type and the stored sample from your cheek swab are identified by a code and stored separate from your personal identifying information.

How Long Does it Take to Donate?

The typical time commitment for the donation process is 20-30 hours of your time spread out over a four-to-six-week period. This does not include travel time, which is defined by air travel and staying overnight in a hotel. Nearly 40% of donors will travel during the donation process.

How Long Does it Take to Match a Patient to a Donor?

It typically takes a long time to find matches for patients. Remember that signing up for the registry now does not automatically mean you will be matched, it can take months or even years before you are called.

If I'm Selected to be a Donor Do I Have to Pay a Fee?

Donors never have to pay to donate. Be The Match covers travel, meals and hotel for donors and one companion. All medical costs for the donation procedure are covered by the patient’s medical insurance or Be The Match.

Does Donating Blood Stem Cells Hurt?

Many mistakenly believe that donating blood stem cells is painful, when in reality it’s not. The median time to full recovery for a marrow donation is 20 days.


Some think that the only way to donate blood stem cells is through a surgical procedure. The reality is that 79% of donations are peripheral blood stem cells, which involves no surgery at all!

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