As a completely normal human being without any particularly special training, rarely do I have the opportunity to save someone's life. I learned CPR, but I've never been remotely close to having to use it (thank goodness!). I have donated to different organizations, and maybe indirectly helped someone live, but bone marrow donation is different. It's extremely personal, and immediate. I imagine that being matched with someone on the registry must be like receiving a second lease on life.
Here are some facts on bone marrow donation, courtesy of DoSomething:
"6 out of 10 patients never receive the transplant
from a non-family member."
"Young people ages 18-24 are the bone marrow
donors needed most."
Many are understandably wary about bone marrow donation because it is a medical procedure that is more complex than donating blood. Still, there are many myths about bone marrow donation. For example, some believe that bone marrow donation always involves surgery, is painful, and is harmful to the donor (none of which are true!). To read about these facts and myths, check out the Be the Match site.
I registered to be a bone marrow donor during my spring break early this year. It was an extremely easy process, only involving a couple of cheek swabs and a trip to the post office. I received confirmation that I am in the registry about a month ago, and I'm really grateful for the opportunity to give back. The majority of people on the registry never end up being asked to donate, but if I am asked, I truly hope that I can give someone the gift of a little more time. To find more information, donate, or register, click here!
Here is an incredibly moving video of a bone marrow recipient meeting his donor: