WBUR has an excellent story up about the process of bone marrow donation from the perspective of the donor. The donor in question is one David Cavell, an alumnus of Tufts University who swabbed his cheek during his college years and got a call almost a decade later.
I’ve been on the bone marrow registry for almost ten years. (If there is a part Irish, part Luxembourgian, part English, Scottish, French, and German person who needs some bone marrow, then I might be a match.) Sometimes, you have to pay to get on the registry; I got on during a bone marrow drive at my grandfather’s church in Florida. The expenses were paid by a family who was looking for a match for their little girl.