Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bone MARrow, bone MARrow, we LOVE your bone MARrow, it's only a swab away

OK, tackey title for a serious topic. In the next couple of weeks, people all over the US have the opportunity to join the national bone marrow registry without any cost for the testing and processing, during the National Marrow Donor Program's May "Thanks Mom" registry drive.

All they do is take a swab of the inside of your cheek -- just a few minutes to let someone rub a q-tip in your mouth could mean that you will get the chance to save someone's life.

This web page has a link to find drives near you.

I'm doing it for Isabel,, who is the daughter of a kick-ass wonderful rebel mama friend. I'm doing it for Holly and Liz and my sister Erin and my cousin's daughter Jennifer, none of whom had blood/bone related cancers but I feel that every time we can kick any kind of cancer's ass to the ground, we - they - all win.

They need everyone to be tested for the registry, but there's a serious shortage of folks of color: Black, hispanic, asian and native american donors are in very short supply. I'm dragging Von's cute brown butt up there; Sarah, if you're reading this, get that handsome Chilean of yours to do this as well.

Please don't make this something that you say "oh wow, that sounds like a good idea" then you never do something about it. If you think you could do this, click on the link, find the closest place (ours is 70 miles away but we're going anyway), make an appointment, and go. It will be over in just a couple of weeks, and it will never be easier than this. Waiting until they do this again next year isn't enough, when someone might need your marrow next month.

Who knows, in a month or a year or five years, you might get a call letting you know that you've been invited to play the leading role in the fight to save someone's life. Now, how often will you get THAT chance in your life??


EGE said...

My dad just got over (well, cross your fingers) multiple myeloma, so I looked and found a place just 4 miles away -- but it says "call the donor center for the cost to join the registry." I can't call now because it's too early, but -- I have to pay to have my cheek swabbed so I can save someone's life?

Georgetown House said...

On the specific day listed, the locations specified will not charge you.

Unfortunately, the cost of evaluating someone as a potential bone marrow match is fairly high, and so far no one has stepped up to cover that cost for the general public - it's why there's such a need. The cost is typically around $50. That's why it's important to jump in and get registered on the few days where the involved companies are absorbing the costs, or their being covered by a special grant.

So if the place has a general recording of "call for the cost" there presumably won't be a cost for the one day that the center has listed with this site.