Friday, June 12, 2009

This blog post could make you a life saver

For years I have wanted to sign up with the U.S. bone marrow registry for potential donors (now called the Be The Match RegistrySM.) Let me be more accurate--for years I've felt like I needed to sign up, like I'm being drawn to do it. I even started the process online a few years ago, and stopped when I decided I wasn't ready to pay the money it costs to have tissue typing done (currently $52.)

Last week I again pulled up the website and kept it open on my computer for several days, meaning to talk to The Engineer about the cost. Imagine my surprise when, yesterday morning, I glanced at the site--and saw that they are doing a Marrowthon hoping to add 46,000 people to the registry, and tissue typing is currently FREE until June 22 or until funding runs out!

Be The MatchSM performs simple tissue typing (via a cheek swab, not a blood sample) and stores information so that when someone needs a marrow donor, potential matches can be contacted for further testing, and the best match can be chosen. Marrow donation is not painful, as it is performed under anesthesia. Some achiness is often experienced after the donation, and all donor symptoms are gone in 21 days on average. Read more about the donation process here and here.

Signing up online takes about 10-15 minutes. At the end you'll be given the option to donate money, but it's not required. I'm now waiting on my testing kit, which will provide me with a swab so I can surrender a few of my cheek cells (I'll never miss 'em!) to the registry.

Will you consider registering as a potential bone marrow donor? You might save the life of someone with cancer or another life-threatening disease. Be sure to do it soon before the special offer expires or the funding runs out. (Today would be great timing, don't you think?) Go to the Be The MatchSM website to read more or to register.

10 comments:

beckiwithani said...

I signed up during one of these free drives in college, and have always been so glad I did. In fact, your post reminded me that I never told them about my most recent change of address.

(By the way, as I've mentioned before, you really were kind of signed up since I was - because we have the same DNA. :)

Shannon said...

What a great thing to do!

I found your blog when you guest posted for Tia a while back and have checked it almost daily since then! I have a 2-year-old daughter and another one on the way so I feel I can really relate to some of your stories :o)

I posted my 200th blog today and to celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway! Check it out at http://itsnotalwaysblackandwhite.blogspot.com/ and comment to enter my contest!

Keep the stories about Chickie and Zoodle coming!! Take care :o)

mullensfam said...

My brother was actually called upon to donate a year or two ago. He was a match for a 7 year old boy in CA. The harvest was a little painful, but he was fine soon after. The little boy started recovering and was feeling much better. Sadly, the young child passed away almost a year after the transplant. It was a difficult time for everyone since we had been praying for a full recovery. His parents said that that year had been one of his best since he was feeling better than he had in years. My brother would do it again in a heartbeat. How could you not....

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

I was able to get typed for free through a work program, and I am so glad that I did, what a great opportunity to help others!

Tiffany said...

I've thought about doing this many times but like many things it slipped through the holes in my mommy brain. So thanks for this I went and signed up - my kit should be here in a week and I really hope that I'm able to help someone. Thanks!!

holly said...

I was also able to get typed for free on my college campus. The health sciences program sponsored a drive last year. It's quick and painless to get typed, and completely worth it!

addhumorandfaith said...

Welll, Beth, I looked into it, and guess what? They don't want bone marrow over the age of 60! I guess by this age they figure we need to hang on to everything we have! :) But, good for you for signing up!

Christy said...

I also signed up for free in college. I didn't realize that it isn't always free.

Mom23Boys said...

Thanks for your post on this. I just signed up, and I am excited to get my kit! I really appreciate you spreading the word.

Fly Girl said...

I'm so glad I found you and this post. My sweet cousin died from leukemia and I was never contacted, nor did I know or understand about blood marrow donation. It's laid heavy on my heart through the years. Thanks to you, I signed up for the kit today.

Thank you!

Roban