Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Freebie That Can Save A Life!

I'll never forget the last time I saw her. She was leaving an Atlanta restaurant as I was going in. My cousin was in her early 20s then. A little pony tail flounced around whimsically on top of her head. She was dressed in a cute little skirt and leather jacket. I've never lived in Atlanta, so this was purely a chance meeting... and our last.

I missed an opportunity years ago that may have saved my precious cousin's life. I'm trying to save someone else's now, and you can, too, by registering to become a bone marrow donor.

From now until June 22, a non-profit foundation called Be The Match is conducting a Marrowthon to increase the number of available donors on the national registry. During this time (or until their funds run out), they will cover the cost of having your tissue typed and placed on the registry.

It's really simple. Just go to the Be The Match Web site and complete a short questionnaire. If you meet the basic registry guidelines, a pop-up window will guide you through an online form and the order form for the registration kit. When the kit arrives, you'll follow instructions to collect a swab of cells from inside your cheek and return the kit. Soon, you'll be added to the official registry.

According to the foundation's Web site, seventy percent of people don't have a suitable donor in their family and depend on the National Marrow Donor Program to find a match to save their lives. I was never tested for my cousin. In spite of the odds, however, I often wonder whether or not I would have been a perfect match.

To learn more about the process and what it means to be a bone marrow donor, click on this Be The Match link.

You can also click here for FAQs about becoming a donor.


miruspeg said...

Roban it was very sad to read about your young.

I went to bone marrow donor website but I am not eligible to register as I live in Australia.
I then looked up the Australian website ABMDR - Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and would you believe I am too old to register as their cut off age is 40 whereas in the USA it is 60.

At least I am now aware of this organisation and will encourage my younger friends to register.

Posts like this is an excellent example of how blogging can be a very useful tool.


Jen said...

I am not eligible, but I know my husband has actually been called before for additional testing because he matched someone. It felt great to be able to help...although the person ended up not being able to do the procedure.

Carrie said...

Wow, what a powerful story. It's amazing how sometimes we can give something that can change a life. Thanks for sharing your personal story.

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

What a wonderful program! So sorry to hear about your cousin. I was able to get typed through a program at work - so far I haven't been contacted, but if I had the chance I would be grateful to be able to help.

Silver said...

i am saddened to hear of your cousin. I am aware of this programme.
i pray for peace for the family in grief..

Monica said...

I am so sorry to hear about your cousing.

Thank you for posting this information and truly making a difference!

vanilla said...

I followed you here from your comment on Silver's blog. You present a beautiful site, very well-written.

I am too old to be a donor, but prayers for the grieving family.

Octamom said...

Love this--thanks so much for the info--I didn't realize that getting registered was so easy--

Your new layout is gorgeous!