hi! it's been a few short months since i last checked in (unless you count all the times i've talked to ya'll for real, like in person or on the phone or in e-mail or on myspace or facebook or in a text message...).
hey! so, esther got to this before i could, but i've been meaning to post this for a while. my birthday is coming up (march 22nd), and i would be elated if anyone available could join the bone marrow registry. how, you may ask? excellent question! it generally costs about 50 bucks to join (yes, you have to pay to donate...), but on March 24th there will be a free drive at St. Andrew's in Kenmore. all it takes to join the registry is a swab of the inside of your cheek. from that, they can run some tests and see if you are a "match." for so many people that have leukemia and lymphoma, this is there ONLY shot. and if it works, it can be a cure- an honest to God cure for their cancer. the likelihood that a patient will find a perfect match is pretty rare, so many times patients will settle for a mismatch. in these cases, the patient still has a chance, but the likelihood of it working is significantly less.
i see these patients every day. the day they find out there's a match for them is one of the happiest days of their lives. it gives them hope, because for now, this is their best, and sometimes only, chance of survival.
if you are found to be a match, the donation process goes one of two ways. either you will be asked to donate some blood, and the stem cells from that blood will be transfused into the patient, or you will be asked to donate actual marrow. in that case, it is a small surgical procedure you would have done at the hospital. you would not be in the hospital more than one day, but it would require a couple days of recovery at home. because this is an option, please make your decision to become a donor carefully - i've never seen disappointment like that of a patient when they find out their donor has backed out.
so! if you can become a donor, happy birthday to me! if not, you can buy me a beer. or peeps.