Project 14: Register to be a bone marrow donor

Today’s project is the easiest project I have done to date, yet it may one day have the greatest impact.  I took five minutes to register online to be a bone marrow donor.  My dear friend’s brother, Chris, was a bone marrow donor recently for a baby.  I have heard about his experience, and it is so inspiring!  I have often thought about joining the registry, but somehow I just never got around to it. 

Tonight I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  As you will know if you’ve ever watched the show, there is always a very sad story associated with the family they are helping.  In this particular case, the little boy is suffering from a blood condition and has yet to find a bone marrow donor match.  At the end of the show, they made a plea for everyone to join the national bone marrow registry.  So, I did!

If you read my posts about donating blood, you know that medical procedures are not my favorite thing in the world.  But, when I think about being the needle in a haystack that could save some child’s life, how can I be so selfish as to say no? 

I did some research to learn about the process.  The first thing I learned was that only one in 540 people who register to donate are actually a match for someone.  That is such a shockingly low percentage!  However, it just brings to light how many people they need to sign the registry in order to help all the people out there who need a transplant.  I figured they would probably want a blood sample to determine if I am a match, but nope.  They send you a kit in the mail to take a couple of swabs from your cheek.  Even the weakest of us can handle a cheek swab! 

Of course, I also researched what exactly is involved with the actual bone marrow donation.  I learned there are two different types of donation, one that is similar to donating blood and another where they take bone marrow from the pelvis (under anesthesia).  Although the idea of undergoing surgery isn’t exactly appealing, I know that I will jump at the chance if my phone rings some day telling me a child (or an adult, for that matter) is a match and needs my help.

I urge you to take five minutes to sign up for the bone marrow donor registry at www.marrow.org.  The odds of actually being chosen are slim, but the more people who sign up, the better the odds for thousands of sick children.  If it were your child, you would be praying that people would sign up for the registry.  Please do what you can to answer another parent’s prayer.

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