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What does a bone marrow transplant cost? Learn what to expect and how our nonprofit can help.
To understand what a bone marrow transplant is, you first need to understand bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft tissue located inside bones. Bone marrow represents a critical region in the human body because it’s where most of the body’s blood cells develop and are eventually stored.
A bone marrow transplant is a unique therapy to treat patients with various types of cancer or even other diseases. According to Hopkins Medicine, the transplant itself involves “taking cells that are normally found in the bone marrow (stem cells), filtering those cells, and giving them back either to the donor (patient) or to another person.”
A successful bone marrow transplant is the process of transfusing healthy bone marrow cells into a person after their own compromised bone marrow has been treated to kill the abnormal cells.
Do bone marrow transplants have a record of success? Yes: Hopkins Medicine states that the procedure has been used since 1968 to treat diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, aplastic anemia, immune deficiency disorders, and some solid tumor cancer.
Used as a successful cancer treatment for many years, a bone marrow transplant is a unique procedure in that it can cure many diseases and some types of cancer. It is primarily used when the option of using radiation or chemotherapy becomes too powerful and harmful, risking permanent damage or destruction of an individual’s bone marrow stem cells. In this case, a bone marrow transplant is a treatment option.
According to John Hopkins University, the bone marrow transplant is often used for:
With a bone marrow transplant, the process most often begins with high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. This is necessary to make room in the bone marrow for the new cells to grow. In other words, the new bone marrow needs to be placed into an empty bone so the new stem cells can develop and establish a new blood cell production system. After this process of chemotherapy or radiation occurs, the new or treated bone marrow transplant is inserted through the central venous catheter into the bloodstream.
Many people think a bone marrow transplant is a physical replacement of the bone marrow. Instead, it is much more like receiving a blood transfusion. The stem cells flow through the blood stream of the recipient, locate the best place to begin growing and building new and healthy blood cells.
In the post-transplant phase, healthcare practitioners support the patient by preventing and treating infections, as well as dealing with the potential side effects or complications of treatment.
Depending on the health of the donor, there are different types of bone marrow transplants which can be performed to generate the best results.
Bone marrow transplantation is one of the most expensive cancer treatments, costing an average of $193,000 per patient. However, due to the variety across the types of bone marrow transplants, it’s difficult to predict exactly what a transplant will cost. Bone marrow transplant insurance coverage varies. Depending on the needs of the patient, a transplant can range from $80,000 to up to $400,000 before health insurance.
Many bone marrow transplant candidates and recipients turn to medical fundraising to help cover out-of-pocket expenses associated with a transplant, including:
The fundraising process with our nonprofit starts with a few simple steps:
Help Hope Live differs from GoFundMe by:
We are a nonprofit with more than four decades of fundraising experience and a 4-star Charity Navigator rating
Here are a few Help Hope Live bone marrow transplant fundraiser success stories:
Mother of three Kate Jauch has been fundraising with Help Hope Live since 2010 for the immense out-of-pocket expenses connected with acute lymphocytic leukemia, including chemotherapy and multiple bone marrow transplants. Kate’s campaign has surpassed $30,000 raised, exceeding the Jauch family’s initial $25,000 goal. Funds raised help cover costs ranging from temporary housing and medical transportation to medications and home health services.
Erin Meredith Cahill-Wetzel is in the midst of rigorous treatments for triple negative breast cancer. Erin and her husband welcomed their fifth child into the world in February 2022 as they recognized the midpoint in Erin’s course of chemotherapy. Erin and her family have surpassed $21,000 raised with Help Hope Live.
If you choose to fundraise with our nonprofit, here’s how the process will look:
1. APPLY for assistance
2. YOU’LL BE PAIRED with a Client Services Coordinator
3. YOUR COORDINATOR will provide you with one-on-one fundraising help, including personalized fundraising materials and guidance on how to rally your community, share your story on social media, reach out to the press, plan in-person or virtual fundraising events, and more.
Need Other Financial Help Options?
For alternatives to fundraising, you can find information on a variety of organ transplant financial assistance options. Please view our Transplant Resource Directory for insight into sources of direct financial aid, support groups, and other resources for transplant patients and their families.