2012 14/08

Be The Match {Life List}

I have been donating blood with the American Red Cross on and off since high school. It’s something that I actually enjoy doing, when I can line up a sitter during a blood drive, since I’m not really squeamish around blood. Also, it’s like 20 minutes of quiet time and they give you cookies and juice afterwards!

Then I started hearing more about bone marrow donation when I was involved with Dance Marathon in college. {A benefit for Children’s Miracle Network.} I didn’t pay it too much mind but it always stuck in my head.

Honestly, all I could think of was the fact that someone would be shoving a giganto needle into my hip to get the bone marrow and how freaking painful that would be!

Then I had kids. No, I’m not going to go into how having kids has someone transformed me into super woman. Having three kids has not made me immune to pain. Matter of fact, I still cry when one of my kids headbutts me and curse like a sailor when I stub my toe.

But I realized that the pain of donating bone marrow might not be so bad. I’ve had two epidurals in the past and survived those. And, couldn’t I withstand a little pain if it meant I was doing something great for someone else? Wouldn’t I be beyond appreciative if someone else put up with a little pain if it meant they were saving my child’s life? Or my life?

That’s when I decided. I wanted to learn more about bone marrow donation. And the more I learned, the more I realized I could do this! So, I added it to my Life List {#14} and set-off to get myself added to the registry! Full well knowing that I could someday be facing that big needle!

Did you catch that last part? The needle part? The knowing part? Because I think a lot of people miss that part. It sounds all fabulous to be added to the list, like putting “organ donor” on your drivers license. But, it’s another thing to know that someday you might get that call. And that you need to be willing to do it. Because someone is depending on you. If you say “yes” in the process, you need to know you WILL say YES at the call.

Getting added to the Bone Marrow Registry is super easy. You simply fill out a form online.

 

Then, in about 1 week, you receive a kit in the mail to collect a swab of your cheek cells. Four swabs later, you mail it back and wait.

It took about another week and I received an email letting me know they received my samples and would be processing them.

About six weeks later I received another email telling me they had processed my samples and I was now added to the Registry! I should be receiving my Registry Card in the mail sometime this Fall.

That’s it. A few minutes of answering questions and swabbing my cheeks and I’m done. Now I wait. I wait until they call me to tell me there is a need for my marrow. The way could be weeks. Or months. Or years. I may never get that call. But, if the call ever does come, I will be ready to say “yes”.

If you are interested in learning more about bone marrow donation, the need, or the process, you can find out more at BeTheMatch.com.

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