When you learn that your child may need bone marrow transplantation (BMT), you will want to discuss this procedure with your child’s primary doctor and then research your options for a transplant center. As you educate yourself and explore your options, we hope you will take advantage of the background information on this website and also call us or visit us to learn more about the experience and special resources of the Fred Hutchinson Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA).
Learn about bone marrow transplants
The methods for BMT are changing constantly, and your child’s procedure will likely need to be customized to fit his or her exact condition. But by learning about the basics of BMT—the purpose, the main types of transplant, the main steps in the process—you and your family will be in a better position to make decisions and know what to expect during and after the procedure.
- For basic background about BMT, you can refer to Bone Marrow Transplant Facts.
- To learn about SCCA experience, results, and special programs, see Why Choose SCCA for Pediatric Transplant.
Talk to a pediatric BMT doctor
If you have been told your child may require a BMT, feel free to talk directly to one of our pediatric transplant specialists—by phone or in person—to learn more about your options. This first discussion is sometimes called an “initial consultation.” Even if you have many unanswered questions—Is BMT really needed? Can it wait? Where should we have it done?—a first phone call to SCCA can provide information that helps clarify your next steps. In some cases, you or your child’s primary doctor will need to provide more details, or your child may need to come to SCCA for testing, to help determine the best treatment course.
For guidance on information to have ready when you first contact us and questions you might want to ask, see Talk to a Pediatric Transplant Doctor.
If you are able to come to Seattle for a consultation:
- You will meet with a pediatric transplant doctor who will review your child’s medical record and talk with you about treatment options.
- A transplant nurse will answer your questions and offer you an orientation and tour of the SCCA Transplant Clinic and Seattle Children’s.
- A representative from Patient Financial Services will talk with you about how much treatment costs, what insurance covers, and how to pay for your child’s transplant.
- We will give you transplant information to take home—including a copy of SCCA’s Patient & Caregiver Resource Manual that provides information about the SCCA campus and the Seattle area, the transplant process, classes for caregivers, and caring for your child at home.
To schedule a consultation, call (800) 804-8824, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. If you are from outside the area and not sure you can travel here for an initial consultation, please call us to talk about your options. We consult with families all the time by phone.
Prepare for transplant
Once we determine that your child is eligible for a transplant and the transplant is scheduled, our staff will send you a printed booklet called Preparing for Transplant.
SCCA and Seattle Children’s have been performing transplants for decades. That’s why we are so well prepared to assist families going through the process—even families traveling here from outside the area. Families come to Seattle from around the world for transplants.
To help you and your child prepare for this major life event, we offer extensive one-on-one support in arranging travel, housing, schoolwork, counseling, transportation, activities, and other practical aspects of this challenging period.
As you start preparing for your child’s transplant, be sure to connect with our support services, which include:
- Counselors, educators, navigators, interpreters, social workers, and chaplains
- Guest Services at Seattle Children’s, which can assist with nearby housing (including SCCA-affiliated Ronald McDonald House and Pete Gross House)
- Family Resource Center at Seattle Children’s, where you can find information, computers, kitchen, and stress relief
- Financial and insurance counseling
- Volunteers trained and ready to assist children, siblings, and parents