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.
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
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