So, last week I got a call from the National Bone Marrow Registry saying I am a suitable match for a complete stranger with leukemia who needs a transplant. Whoa. That took a moment to process….
Processing over, I was excited to get a chance to help. Now, in about six weeks, I’ll be making a donation of blood stem cells in at Dana Farber in Boston for this guy who I don’t know but somehow have this weird biological compatibility with.
I decided today that, over that time, I’m going to blog on the topic of marrow/stem cell transplants and donations: how I came to get that call, what I do now, and how the actual transplant works. I will be trying to learn more myself, talk myself through being a little nervous, AND , most importantly: get anyone reading this who isnt on the Bone Marrow Registry to put aside whatever holds them back (will it hurt, will it cost money, does it take a lot of time, etc.) so they get on it.
Consider the stats: a white person looking for a transplant from a stranger faces 1 in 20,000 odds. Given the size of the registry, I hear that’s about a 40% chance. For a person of color, the odds are even higher.
You could be the one in thousands that somebody with a horrible disease is looking for.
And don’t think “Nah, it won’t be me.” I thought that too. And here I am. And there ain’t nothing special about my stem cells, people. lol.
So, here’s my first plea: check out how easy and free it is to get on the list! Check out the busting of bone marrow donation myths! And read this article about the need for African American donors.
And if you sign-up now or you’re already on there or have a marrow donor experience of your own, let me know. I’d love to hear it and share it!
As always, thanks for reading!