Q&A From a Stem Cell Donor

Rafael Main (J130130306R)

In 2013, we interviewed a Pharmacy Technician from Children’s named Rafael Pacheco about his experience donating stem cells as part of the Be The Match program. Here’s a Q&A about what he thinks about the stem cell donation process and why he’s glad to be a donor.

Q Why did you decide to sign up for the Be the Match Registry?

A I felt like my donation could potentially give a patient in need a fighting chance at life.


Q How long did it take you to get called to donate?

It was 13 years between the time I registered and when I was called and asked to donate. Note that according to Be The Match, there is no guaranteed timetable for when registered donors could be contacted.


Q Were you afraid to donate after you received the call?

A I was a little nervous, but the procedure went really well.


Q What kind of donation did you give?

A I donated peripheral blood stem cells.


Q How long did it take to donate stem cells?

A The stem cell donation lasted about eight hours. After they got me hooked up, it was easy, and I was able to catch up on some movies I had missed.


Q Did it hurt to donate stem cells?

Not really. I had some tingling around my mouth and fingers, but they warned me about that before we started, so I knew it was normal. They gave me some calcium, and the tingling went away.


Q Did you hurt the following week after donating?

I felt a little achy after donating, but it was nothing that interrupted my life. Besides, I kept reminding myself the patient receiving my donation had gone through much worse, and that makes it all worth it.


Q After knowing what it takes to donate stem cells, would you do it again?

A  Absolutely. I would definitely do it all over again.


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