I promised information about Bone Marrow Donation my last post, so here goes.
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 can join the bone marrow donation bank ON LINE! You don’t have to leave your home.
Why donate? An estimated 45,000 people are diagnosed with Leukemia every year. That is just leukemia and does not include other blood cancers! Of those 45,000 more than 800 receive stem cell (extracted from donor bone marrow) transplants at MD Anderson Cancer Center. While MD Anderson is one of the largest stem cell centers in the world, it is not the only one. That means thousands of people need access to donors.
Why do we need a huge data base of potential donors? I’ll use myself as an example. I have one brother. The chances of him being a perfect match is one in four. The odds of him being a good match are two in four. Did he match? No. Now I need what is known as a MUD match – Matched Unrelated Donor. Now the match is more closely checked. I don’t know the exact odds for me though a quick search found a possible 25,000 matches. The data base is being checked and crosschecked to find the most acceptable donor.
If I were Hispanic, or Black, or Asian, my odds would be considerably less because fewer people from these backgrounds are on the donor list.
How do you register? If you fit the 18 to 44 age group, enrolling is easy. Log on to Be The Match and register. It is painless! Once you are registered, a kit will be sent to your address with complete instructions on how to take the swabs in your mouth and instructions on returning the kit to Be The Match. There is no cost, no pain, and lots to gain if you are ever called upon to donate. Think about it. Your bone marrow could save the life of a child or adult in serious need of healing because there is NO CURE for Leukemia other than a stem cell transplant.
If you are called upon to donate, you will incur no costs. Be The Match has several videos explaining the process and testimonies about the experience. I urge you to watch them, read about the program, and REGISTER.
Other Tissue Donations You Can Make:
Sign up to be a tissue donor. You can mark it on your driver’s license. Or, you can join one of several donor banks. This, too, is painless (of course you donate AFTER all attempts have been made to keep you alive). You must inform you family that you want to be a tissue donor. Trust me; funeral directors can make you look really good after a donation. It is amazing what they can do. I used to work in a funeral home. I know.
Of course you don’t have to die to be a tissue donor. Give the gift of life by giving blood at your local blood bank. Especially in need is O Negative blood. It is the universal blood type. Nearly everyone can use it. Before I was diagnosed with Leukemia, I had donated gallons of my O Neg to both the American Red Cross and local blood banks. I was popular in those banks!