Want A Superpower? Become A Bone Marrow Donor

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bone marrow donor

I joined the Bone Marrow Donor Registry during my Freshman year in college. There was a registration drive on campus that my roommate and I decided on a whim to attend. I vaguely recall getting my cheek swabbed and then being given a sticker. At the time it seemed like an easy thing to do. I was also thinking about my cousin, who had passed away at age 16 from leukemia, a bone marrow-related cancer.

Now twenty years later, I’m still on the registry. And I have yet to be called upon. Every year I get an email asking me to reaffirm my interest (this isn’t necessary to do, but I always click yes anyway). I suspect my particular genetic make-up makes me a rare bone marrow match. According to the national bone marrow donor program’s website, Be The Match, the chance of getting selected is only 1 in 430 anyway. But if I do ever get the call, I will be willing and able. Why? Because I could save a life, and that would be such an incredible honor. 

If you think about it, unless you’re a firefighter or policewoman or medical professional, how many opportunities do you really have to save someone’s life? Because that’s what bone marrow donation is: life-saving. And what does it cost you? Nothing monetarily.

This Saturday, September 16th, is World Marrow Donor Day and a great day to sign up. Should you be matched with a patient and asked to donate marrow or peripheral blood stem cells, all medical expenses and most if not all travel expenses will be covered. All that’s really needed from you is your time and of course, well, you. A small inconvenience in exchange for being someone’s hero. You can read more details about the donation process here

Another reason why I’m registered (and now so is my husband): An anonymous bone marrow donor in Japan saved the life of a close relative who had been suffering for years from a bone marrow disease. After trying other treatments, he reached a point where he was very, very, very sick. And this donor, this stranger in a strange land an ocean away, stepped up out of nowhere and literally saved my relative’s life. Saved the life of a husband and father and beloved family member. Can you imagine that? Saving a family’s entire world with some easily replaceable stuff in your body? I mean, is that not the best super power ever?

Obviously you have to be in good physical health and meet certain requirements to donate, so be sure to do your research before you sign up. But if you are able, I hope you will be willing.

After all, you could have the power to save a life, just by being you

 

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Follow me on Instagram @EcoFriendlyMama, Twitter @EcoFriendlyMa, and Pinterest @EcoFriendlyMama! Though I was born and raised in New York City, I've lived in SoCal for over ten years now and am proud to call this beautiful and diverse place my home. My husband and I have a son and baby daughter (whom I was 9 months pregnant with when this photo was taken!). Prior to becoming a mommy I spent several years in feature film publicity and acquisitions for Miramax and later as the Creative Executive for Hilary Swank Productions before seguing to the music industry where I did Online Communications for the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. In my ample pre-parenthood free time, I also freelanced as a script analyst and screenwriter. I am fortunate now to be able to devote all my time to my family, but I still love to write so am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this blog! I am a foodie, avid traveler, environmentalist, preschool board member, and unabashed Disney nut. I can also be found writing about green parenting and eco-conscious living on my personal website, https://ecofriendlymama.com.