Bone Marrow Donor Registry

The Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry (WBMDR) is a panel of blood donors who have volunteered to become bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell donors.

The panel is searched every day to try and find donors whose tissue type is a close match to patients who need life saving bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplants.

The larger the panel the greater the chance of finding a well-matched donor for a patient. The chances of a volunteer being matched with a patient varies greatly. Some volunteers can be matched after a short time on the registry and others are never called.

How do I join?

Joining the panel is simple, you can join the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor panel from the age of 17 years and up until your 31st birthday.

You can join the registry in two ways by:


Requesting a swab kit

Providing samples at a blood donation appointment


Click the green image to request a swab kit: you will be asked to complete a short screening questionnaire to assess your suitability and to provide the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry team with some details about yourself.

The swabs will be taken from the inside of your cheek, and instructions on how to use and return your swab kit will be included in the pack or can be found here. The saliva collected in the swabs will be used to ‘tissue type’ you.

Alternatively, if you are a blood donor aged between 17 and 31, you can register interest by enrolling online and we will ask you to give your blood sample the next time you give blood. If you prefer, you can let the team looking after you know that you would like to join the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor panel the next time you visit a blood donation session.

We will take a small blood sample from you and this sample will allow the WBMDR to ’tissue type’.

What happens if I am a potential match for a patient?

If you are a potential match you will be asked to give a further blood sample. This sample is needed to determine the exact level of compatibility with the patient.

If the level of compatibility is very close you will be asked if you wish to donate your Bone Marrow or give a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation.

You will be given detailed information by a specialist nurse from the Welsh Blood Service Bone Marrow Registry about the different procedures. You can still back out at any time up until the patient starts their pre-transplant treatment.

If you have any further questions or wish to discuss any aspect of bone marrow/stem cell donation please ask at your blood donor session or contact the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry Office on 0800 371502.

To access information leaflets for donors who have been selected for confirmatory testing to donate bone marrow please click here