Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To-Marrow, To-Marrow, I Love Ya To-Marrow

First, I stole the title of today's blog from a friend. It was too awesome not to use again. I have officially been diagnosed with a pesky little sucker called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and I'm going to need a bone marrow transplant (BMT) in the near future. My friends Blair and Julie are either registering with the national marrow registry (http://www.marrow.org/) or signing up everyone they know to help me out in finding a match. In addition to me, my friend Traci's 13 year old nephew desperately needs a minority match to save his life from leukemia.

Most people, including myself, tend to think that donating marrow is painful but I've found out through lots of reading that most marrow donation is taken through an IV, much like donating plasma, rather than the older procedure where they tap your hip bone. In fact, they take the blood through an IV, separate out the stem cells, and give the donor back their own blood - all in one sitting. I think more people might be willing to donate if they knew it wasn't that bad.

Registering is simple - go to www.marrow.org and fill out a simple questionnaire that asks your medical history. Then a couple of weeks later you're receive a packet with some cotton swabs. It takes about 2 minutes to swab your cheeks. Then you send the swabs back to the registry program. It's THAT simple. If you are already registered or regsitered a long time ago, you might want to call the National registry people to make sure your contact information is up-to-date so they can find you if they need it.

I know I would appreciate it and I'm sure Traci's nephew would appreciate it too. He was on tv last week looking for a match. All he wants to do is get better so he can play football next year with his high school team.


That Blair Guy said...

And for impatient folks such as myself, there are also some in-person options so you don't have to do all that pesky waiting for the mail to come.

You can:

Find a registration drive in your area,

Walk in to a Donor center,

or Walk in to a Recruiting center.

There are even a few International Options!!

FirePhrase said...

That title was pretty good, huh? Avec mes compliments.

And don't forget that, though they love everybody, the registry really, really loves getting people who are racial minorities or multi-ethnic. I just barely qualify as multi-ethnic because I'm Northern European and Native American. But if you have a true Heinz 57 flavors heritage, they'd probably throw a parade for you.

Anonymous said...

So ... I've never given plasma before. Is it just like giving blood? I did Google marrow donation and it said it required general anesthesia.