Thursday, June 23, 2005

Possible Bone Marrow Donor

National Marrow Donor Program

This morning I received one of the best phone calls a person could ever get. The National Bone Marrow program telephoned to inform me that I was a possible match for a 45 year old man with Leukemia and futher testing is requested.

It has been almost 10 years since my father died from Leukemia. He was only 42 and unable to find a bone marrow match. It was always so bitter sweet to have this hope that someone out there would be found to match and that would have the potential to save his life. A match was never found for him...for us really...and he died.

It would be such an amazing honor to give something of yourself that would increase their chance of ridding their bodies of cancer and surviving...Now at this stage, I was told that their is only a 5% chance of me being a match. Shit, screw my chances at the lottery - let me win this bet! This is a bet that could very well mean life or death for...someone. This person needs a match - without it...

The woman who called from the registry was so nice and at every step was so curtious and willing to inform me about the next steps. She set up further blood testing for next Thursday at my local clinic. They need to do another blood draw to complete the tissue typing and to determine whether or not I am a complete match.

It is a little funny - she asked if I would like to set up the testing in the next couple of weeks. Hell, weeks!? How about in an hour?! Come on - if there is a chance that I'm a match, I'll drive to the clinic right now and let's get the show on the road. Now, I'm not complaining - I know she was trying to make it is as convenient as possible for me. But there is a person out there waiting for a match - so let not dick around and find that match.

...well, that was fast - 20 minutes after the first call, they called back with a confirmed appointment to complete the testing next Thursday at the local clinic. (so they aren't slacking folks - in fact they are on the ball)...

So readers - I would ask that you consider adding yourself to the National Marrow Registry and/or making a contribution so others can. Even more important would be to set up a bone marrow drive at your company or in your community.

Joining the National Marrow registry is only a simple blood test, but can be expensive ($60-$90). Usually bone marrow drives are sponsored by companies/individuals to encourage folks to come in for initial typing. It's a simple blood draw that has the potential to save someone's life. When my father was unable to find a match Northwest airlines and others paid for the testing so that over 500 people who came to the marrow drive were able to join the registry at no cost.

So if you are at work...swing by your boss' office and ask that the company sponsor a bone marrow clinic and blood drive at the office.

I will be sure to keep the latest news about this on the blog.


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