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Adolescent Stem Cell Donors: Benefits, Burdens, and Risks of Being a Lifeline for a Sibling

Adolescent Stem Cell Donors: Benefits, Burdens, and Risks of Being a Lifeline for a Sibling

Source: Oncology Nurse Advisor

A young person decides to donate stem cells to an HLA-matched sibling in need of a bone marrow transplant. It is such a selfless gift. But for an adolescent in the midst of the emotional turmoil that comes with that age, just how easy a decision is it to decide to give such a complex gift? A multidisciplinary team explored the conundrum with the goal of identifying how to help these generous persons through a very difficult decision.1 The team members were, from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Meaghann S. Weaver, MD, MPH, from the Department of Oncology; Ashley Carr, CCLS, from the Child Life Program; and Brandon Triplett, MD, from the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy; and Dr. Douglas S. Diekema, attending physician and director of education for the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at the Seattle Children's Research Institute in Seattle, Washington.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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