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.