Thursday, February 24, 2011

Be the Match

Ten years ago today, I did something that I was terrified to do.

But I knew it was important. I knew people whose lives had been saved by this very thing.

On the off chance that I might actually be the match for someone, I asked my best friend to go with me ... to hold my hand. Yep, I needed someone to hold my hand for this one.

You see, I'm terrified of needles. Or at least I have a strong dislike for them.

However, my aversion to the sight of blood ... especially my own ... is even worse.

And I was going to voluntarily offer for someone to stick a needle in my arm and take a little blood. A double whammy.

So off we went. We signed in at the Bone Marrow Drive on our college campus, filled out a bit of paperwork, gave a small vial of blood, and left with a cool t-shirt.

I didn't really dwell on what I did. But I thought about it every now and then. I got a magazine or letter in the mail a couple of times a year. I got an email every now and then. Every time I moved (and I moved a lot), I updated my contact information. Just in case.

Back in the fall, I got an email reminding me to update my contact information in their system. The email prompted me to tell Hubs that if I was ever contacted I would donate bone marrow without a second thought. I'm sure I threw him off, but he just agreed and we moved on.

Two weeks later, I received a phone call at work informing me that I had been identified as a possible match for a patient. Would I be willing to complete a medical questionnaire and be considered for additional testing?

Of course!

After my questionnaire was approved and a bunch of tests were run on my original blood sample, I was confirmed as a match for the patient. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to donate. The patient was no longer a candidate for transplant. So I'm back in the system ... on the waiting list ... just hoping and praying that my bone marrow might be a match for someone.

Maybe one day.

So today I received a "Happy Anniversary" email from the National Marrow Donor Program today. I smiled when I remembered that day 10 years ago when I was so nervous about giving a tiny vial of blood that I almost puked. I smiled when I remembered the thrill of that phone call back in October and the disappointment when I learned that the patient wasn't going to have a transplant. And I had to share an incredible opportunity with you.

Would you consider registering to be a bone marrow donor? It's simple. Just a small blood sample. Then, if someone needs to search the database of random donors for a match, they might call you.

Will you?

God could use you to save someone's life.

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