I have always been aware of the fact that I have more than I need. That if I have something that I don't want anymore, that's still decent, there is someone out there that would be thrilled to have it. For this reason, I always donate my clothes, appliances, housewares, etc. If it's still got some life left, I want someone else to wear it out. (thank you to craigslist for helping me get rid of a kitchen table and 4 chairs, two mattresses, and two t.v.'s) I try to apply this principle to most things in life. I give blood, I donate my change, I pick up hitch-hikers. I just want to help.
When my sister told me not all that long ago that babies with Down Syndrome are more likely to develop childhood leukemia I thought of one more thing I have, that others need and I took a little action. I got online and went to Be The Match. I ordered a kit and waited for it to get here. I documented it, now I'm going to write about it. In a few you will know exactly what it takes to register to become a bone marrow donor and hopefully will be inspired to get registerd too.
*First of all, some things you should know about donating bone marrow....
*70% of people that need a transplant do not have a matching donor in their families
(isn't that shocking! I can't imagine being the patient waiting to find a donor)
*Donors don't pay any expenses
*It takes about 30-40 hours over 4-6 weeks
*There are two ways to donate: peripheral blood stem cell donation, which is most common (non-surgical, looks much like donating plasma....blood is removed, what they need is taken from the blood, a portion of the blood is returned to you) and marrow donation from the pelvis.
Can you imagine if all it took to save a life was 40 hours and the willingness to be stuck by a needle? After looking it over, there was no way I wouldn't donate. So....this is exactly what I did. I typed in my info and got my packet in the mail. It looked like this...
Inside my packet were 4 long q-tip swabs and 4 barcode stickers.
I took each swab, stared it down for a minute, then rubbed em on my cheeks.
Swabbin the decks....
(attractive picture, I know)
After swabbing for 10 seconds, I wrapped a barcode sticker around each swab and put them in my handy dandy swab holder card thing.
I put swab holder thing in my business reply envelope from Be The Match.
Then I put my nifty postage paid envelope in the mail.
Now I wait. It takes about 2 months to process my sample and put me on the registry. They will contact me if they ever need me. That's it. That's all I had to do. It's a little scary because it's unknown and apparently the needle to the hip bone thing hurts a bit, but I don't care. If I can spend so many years becoming a doctor because I just HAVE to be able to fix people, then I can deal with it. I hope if you are not registered you will take the time to consider. I mean....what if someone out there needs you?