Monday, March 16, 2009

more marrow

hey ya'll! mikey says today we have to teach something! if you have ever read this blog (i won't be offended if you haven't) you probably know that i am an oncology nurse. something i've blogged about it the past , and something i feel insanely strong about, is joining the bone marrow registry. if you've already joined, thank you! if you haven't, allow me to hop up on my little soap box and tell you how to do it.

1. Try to find a free donor drive. In most cities you can find a free drive every few months or so - to find a listing, go here and enter your zip.

2. If you can't find a free drive, you can join online anytime, but when you do it on your own it costs about 50 bucks. Yes. You have to PAY to agree to donate your bone marrow. I know it sounds ridiculous, but the truth is that a donor and recipient are matched on such an intricate level, that it actually costs quite a bit to process your sample. For that reason, please refer to #1, and try to find a drive that will actually cover the cost for you.

3. Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it. And then call me, and I will tell you how awesome you are.

A few FAQ's:

What's required of me to join?
You will have to fill out a short questionnaire about your medical background, and you will have to swab the inside of your cheek with a q-tip. That's it! No blood required.

What happens if I am a match?
One of two things: 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's an outpatient procedure, but it would require a couple days of recovery at home. (Yes, if they need marrow, they will probably take it from your pelvis, using a long needle. I know, I KNOW. It sounds horrific and barbaric and why would anyone ever volunteer to do such a thing? Well, today an 11 year old boy went through it to save his 6 year old brother. So if he could do it, you sure has hell can do it.)

Why should I?
When I say you can save a life, I mean it in the most literal sense possible. I don't mean it as in "If you donate blood you can save a life" or "If you donate to such and such, you can save a life." I mean if you are a match, and the transplant is a success, YOU WILL HAVE 100% SAVED THE LIFE OF A PERSON THAT HAS RUN OUT OF OPTIONS.

In short, this is important to me. If you think it's something you can commit to, that's awesome. If it's not for you, I can respect that, too. Just give it some thought, and let me know if I can answer any questions. has a ton of info as well. Thanks :)


Leah said...

quick question:
how frequently are matches made? I guess it must be an affect of size of registry list and those in need.

anyway, we are praying for a friend who has been waiting years for a match.

lisa said...

According to the NMDP website, they have over seven million in their registry, but I know at Roswell they search registries internationally. I would guess if it's been years, he must have a very rare HLA type? But anyone could be a match... so don't stop praying :)