The night after I joined the Bone Marrow Donor registry I had a dream that I was a Bone Marrow match for a little boy who was dying of Leukemia. But in my dream, I had joined the registry one month after he died of the disease. I had the lifesaving cure just walking around in my body and I had no idea until it was too late.
Horrible, I know. But It happens, I’m sure. This morning, when I woke up, I got an email for the registry, and whenever that happens I have a flicker of hope that I am one of those people who has the opportunity to donate. I want to. I want to use the marrow I grow so easily in my bones to save the life of someones else’s Tater, because I would want you to do that for me, if she is ever in need. Of course, if I ever am a match, I’m sure the news won’t come via email so as you have probably suspected the email was just an update about the progress being made by the Be The Match foundation.
Now that I have this platform, I want to use it to reach out. To help save the life of someones baby. What if it is you. What if you are the one who holds the key to a cure inside your bones.
Are you in the Bone Marrow Donor database?
Here was how simple it was for me to get on the list:
Go to a donation center, give blood, sign a form.
It can be even easier for you. You can click here, fill out a form online and order your cheek swap kit through the mail. It’s so easy.
It took about twenty minutes. Although it did cost me about $50 at the time, I can now put my mind at ease that I am doing what I can. $50 is a lot, more to some people than to others, but it was worth it for me know that I wasn’t the reason that someone was dying. That I wasn’t caring the lifesaving cure inside of me while someone was dying, over a mater of $50.
Click here to find out how you can get on the list of Bone Marrow Donors.
Here are some simple facts about Bone Marrow Donation and how and why to get on the list:
Q: If I join the Be The Match Registry, how likely is it that I will donate to someone?
A: On average, one in every 540 members of Be The Match Registry in the United States will go on to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells to a patient. We cannot predict the likelihood that an individual member will donate because there is so much diversity in the population. However, if you are between the ages of 18 and 44, you are 10 times more likely to be called as a marrow donor than other members of the Be The Match Registry. That’s because research shows cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants.
Every person who joins the registry gives patients hope, and new patient searches begin every day. You may never be identified as a match for someone, or you might be one of a number of potential matches. But you may also be the only one on the registry who can save a particular patient’s life.
Q: How do I become a bone marrow donor?
A: The first step to become a bone marrow donor is to join the Be The Match Registry. Doctors around the world search our registry to find a match for their patients. If a doctor selects you as a match for a patient, you may be asked to donate bone marrow or cells from circulating blood (called PBSC donation).
Q. Does bone marrow donations involve surgery?
A: The majority of donations do not involve surgery. Today, the patient’s doctor most often requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical.
Q. Is Donating painful or involve a long recovery?
A: There can be uncomfortable but short-lived side effects of donating PBSC. Due to taking a drug called filgrastim for five days leading up to donation, PBSC donors may have headaches, joint or muscle aches, or fatigue. PBSC donors are typically back to their normal routine in one to two days.
Q. Is donating dangerous or weaken the donor?
A: There are rarely any long-term side effects. Be The Match® carefully prescreens all donors to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them. We also provide support and information every step of the way.
Q. Once you have been chosen as a match do donors have to pay to donate?
A: Donors never pay to donate. We reimburse travel costs and may reimburse other costs on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Does race or ethnicity affect matching?
A: Racial and ethnic heritage are very important factors. Patients are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity. Today, there simply aren’t enough registry members of diverse racial and ethnic heritage. Adding more diverse members increases the likelihood that all patients will find a life-saving match.
Members of these backgrounds are especially needed:
- Black or African American
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Asian, including South Asian
- Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
- Hispanic or Latino
- Multiple race
This in no way relates to Chipotle Hummus. Except that maybe those lazy summer days, hanging out with friends, enjoying a spicy dip, are gifts that you maybe able to give another person, if you are a match. And if you get on the registry, and get to donate marrow and save someones life: I will be really jealous.
15 ounces garbanzo beans
1/4 cup tahini
3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-3 tbs water
salt and pepper to taste
Crudites for serving
In a food processor, add the garbonzo beans, tahini, chilies, garlic, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice and process until smooth. Add the water until you reach the consistency that you prefer, more water will equal a creamier hummus. Salt and pepper to taste.
I find that this dip tastes best with the cool crunch of fresh vegetables such as cucumber slices, sliced peppers and carrot sticks.
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