Tzu Chi Q&A
A Glimpse into the Missions and Spirit of Tzu Chi
even those who are not related to us by blood,
and feel their suffering as our very own.
1. Why did Tzu Chi set up a bone marrow registry?
In January 1993, a Taiwanese student in the U.S. suffering from leukemia visited Master Cheng Yen and pleaded with her to set up a bone marrow registry in Taiwan. However, at the time, bone marrow transplant from unrelated donors was not allowed in Taiwan.
In May the same year, the Taiwanese government amended the law to lift the legal restriction on marrow donation. After making sure that donating bone marrow was harmless to health, Master Cheng Yen accepted the Taiwanese government's commission and set up a bone marrow registry in October 1993. In 2002, the registry was renamed Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center.
2. Is Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center internationally accredited?
|Yes. Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center received benchmark accreditation in 2010 and full accreditation in 2015 and 2020 from the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), a voluntary organization overseeing the international exchange of blood stem cells and promoting the interest of volunteer donors. With the accreditation, Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center has become an international marrow database. It is now one of the largest marrow registries in the world.|
3. How many potential donors have registered with Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center?
As of October 2020, Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center had listed over 448,800 potential donors.
4. How many people have found a matched donor from Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center?
By October 2020, more than 5,800 people in 31 countries have found a matched donor and received bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells from Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center.
5. What support does Tzu Chi offer to a potential donor once a match has been confirmed?
Tzu Chi has a care team of volunteers in Taiwan who provide support to donors throughout the donation process. For example, should potential donors or their family members have concerns about the procedure, the care team will provide them with information or help to communicate with the donors' families. Before the procedure, the care team will look after the donors' health by often bringing them nutritious food. After the procedure, they'll give whatever help is needed, such as taking the donors' children to and picking them up from school, doing laborious house chores on their behalf, and so on.