About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I Am A Match!

Several years ago I registered and submitted my DNA to the bone marrow registry. While I knew that the chances of being selected were slim, something compelled me to fill out the forms. A few moments of my time and some cheek cells seemed like a small sacrifice to potentially change a life.

Since I signed onto the registry, I have been contacted twice to submit additional blood work. I never heard anything after the first request so I assumed that I was not an adequate match. Last week I received another order for additional blood. I provided the sample and expected again to hear nothing about the outcome.

Yesterday afternoon I received an unexpected phone call informing me that I had been selected as a potential donor. I am in awe when I think about the odds involved in finding a match for bone marrow. It is extremely exciting and humbling that I might be able to provide health restoring cells to somebody in need. Who knows, this transplant might even save their life!

I keep thinking about Robby and how I would feel if he needed bone marrow. I love him more than words will ever convey. I would be devastated if he became ill enough to necessitate a bone marrow transplant, and I would hope that somebody would step up to help. I'm sure that the spouse, siblings, friends, parents and/or children of the recipient feels the same optimism, hope, and despair that I imagine I would feel. As a parent of a child in good health, I feel obligated to help even if I don't know the recipient.

Today I go to complete the final paperwork and to plan the donation process. I have been asked to donate through a method known as PBSC, which I'm delighted is non-surgical. I will be given an injection of a medication every day for about a week. This drug will increase my body's production of "blood forming" cells. After several days I will be hooked up to a machine and a needle will be placed in each arm. My blood will be removed from my body, run through the machine to collect the needed cells, and returned back to me in the other arm.

I have been warned that the medication poses some "potentially intense" side effects, including headaches and muscle soreness. My donation coordinator told me that I may feel like I have the flu (minus the fever) during the week of the donation. As far as I'm concerned, the side effects are simply temporary inconveniences compared to the devastation that would be felt if someone's loved one died because I was too scared to help.

I'm excited about this amazing opportunity to make a real difference in another person's life. My imagination is running wild as I conjure images of the recipient and their family. Maybe I'm helping a young child? Or I could be matched with another Mom like me. Despite the intrigue, I doubt I'll ever know who is my recipient.  Until the time of the donation I want to build the healthiest, strongest cells possible!

 I wonder if cupcakes help fortify blood production?

If you are interested in signing up for the bone marrow registry, visit www.bethematch.com

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