National Marrow Donor Program

Everything that doesn't fit anywhere else!

Postby Jenn » December 31st, 2010, 12:48 am

For those of you that don't know, my friend/boss's wife was diagnosed with AML/Leukemia suddenly right after Thanksgiving. She has a long battle ahead of her, but she is young, and strong and fighting the evil that is cancer every day. She did post the below today, so I'm spreading it around, and asking everyone to consider helping save someone's life. You simply answer a series of questions to determine rather you can even qualify for the kit or not.

What I need now is a bone marrow donor. My best chance for a match is to find someone of Hispanic heritage but it's possible that someone not Hispanic could also match. I'm asking my friends and family to go to the link above to get a kit to become a donor. It's easy and painless and only requires a cheek swab. Because I am in the national registry the only way to help is to sign up with the national registry. Even if you can't save my life, maybe you can save someone else.

Please pass this information on to your friends and family and ask for them to register as well.


http://www.marrow.org/
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Postby plebayo » December 31st, 2010, 3:48 am

It totally blows, I can't donate bone marrow because I had open heart surgery 11 years ago. The surgery was to repair a hole, which simply did not close like it was supposed to after birth. I don't take any medication, it doesn't effect me in any way, have no health issues, and I have been put under anesthesia for other things [tonsils and wisdom teeth, the tonsils weren't even infected!] and did not suffer any complications.

When I called to clarify that although I admittedly have had heart surgery it was 11 years ago and has nothing to do with me or my health the gal said I still couldn't participate.

It sucks because the odds of finding a match are like 1 in 30,000 or something along those lines and I'm a perfectly good candidate and they won't use me. :|

So - that being said I try to donate blood whenever I can, I would love to donate marrow since it's something that could save someone's life but I can't.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 31st, 2010, 9:37 am

I actually signed up with this about a year ago. :)
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Postby Hundilein » December 31st, 2010, 9:54 am

My college does a bone marrow typing drive every year, so I got typed as a freshman. Back then they had to take blood. It's so much simpler now.
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Postby iluvk9 » December 31st, 2010, 10:02 am

I am an organ donor, but find it hard to be a marrow donor. I feel bad saying it. I have been fortunate to be healthy my entire life and while I don't take it for granted, I am afraid of the procedures.

I wish your friend best of health and luck finding a match.
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 31st, 2010, 10:30 am

I keep meaning to sign up...
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 31st, 2010, 10:42 am

Signing up now
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Postby Jenn » January 5th, 2011, 10:02 pm

:) I'm glad Erin!

I understand Joyce, I really do. I'm afraid of needles, I know they don't hurt, I know I live through it every single time, but I literally make myself sick when it comes to shots or drawing blood... :rolleyes2:

I suppose the more I read, the better I feel about it.
There are two methods of donation: peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) and bone marrow. The patient's doctor chooses the donation method that is best for the patient.

PBSC donation is a nonsurgical procedure that takes place at a blood center or outpatient hospital unit. For 5 days leading up to donation, you will be given injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of blood-forming cells in your bloodstream. Your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm. Your blood-forming cells are back to their normal levels within 4 to 6 weeks. To learn more, watch the PBSC donation video.
Marrow donation is a surgical outpatient procedure that takes place at a hospital. You will receive anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone. The marrow replaces itself completely within 4 to 6 weeks. To learn more, watch the marrow donation video.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 6th, 2011, 12:06 am

My kit is in the mail...but they've put me on the list already...
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Postby PoodleMaMaKat » January 6th, 2011, 1:34 am

I donated bone marrow on May 20th 2008. It was an amazing journey. Anyone that is thinking about registering I hope you do. There are too many people who never find a match. If there is something you are unsure about I’d be happy to answer any questions that I can. The recipient of my marrow doesn’t live in the US so I will never know who she is. But I know she is a 45 year old mother who had leukemia(AML). The last I heard through the NMDP was she is doing great.

I signed up for the registry in the spring of 2006 while in pharmacy school. That day I NEVER thought I’d receive a call. December 22nd 2007 my phone rang and this journey began. Then early April 2008 after some blood work I received word that I was the match. After more testing to make sure I was healthy enough (I’ve never been checked over that closely!!) the date was set. My parents were hesitant about the process at first. But if I needed someone to do it for me, they’d hope someone would be so selfless. They also know I am stubborn and was going to do it anyway.

I donated the old fashioned way where they harvest the marrow from your hips. I was more terrified of donating the unit of blood to give back to myself then I was the marrow harvest procedure. I tend to pass out when they need to get more than 2 tubes of blood at the doctor’s office. By my request I was put under general anesthesia for the harvest. I apparently was flirting with the nurses in the recovery room… I swear it was the drugs! ;) By the time I was back up to my hospital room for the night my bone marrow was already on a plane to wherever it was going.

I’m quite a wimp when it comes to pain. I won’t lie. It hurt. The worst thing was trying to sit up in bed and the stairs the first 2 days. But I was back to work, standing 9 hours a day, within a week. I was also anemic after the surgery, so I was tired and worn out at the end of the day. Some pain meds, iron supplements and a bit of time and I was back to normal. You can’t even see the two red dots on my hips anymore. A little bit of discomfort and inconvenience doesn’t compare to trying to saving a life.

Somewhere out there two kids have their mom, a husband has his wife, and parents have their daughter. All because I donated my bone marrow. It still makes me teary eyed thinking about it. Any time I’m asked if I’d do it again. The answer is simple. ABSOLOUTLY.
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Postby BullyLady » January 6th, 2011, 2:01 am

Okay Kat, thanks to your post I just signed up.
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Postby pitsnok » January 6th, 2011, 3:08 am

I wish I could donate. Unfortunately my health isn't so great, and I know I wouldn't qualify as a donor.

I hope anyone who is able to donate can do so.

Good luck to you friend, Jenn.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 6th, 2011, 7:40 am

Kat, that's awesome. I signed up several months ago and like you, I'm sure I'll never get called! Though the process terrifies me, I hope I DO get called. I hate needles, yet give blood because I'm O-Neg and know it's needed. I think this would be similar - I'd be petrified and know it would be uncomfortable, but I'm willing to go through some discomfort to help somebody else live.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby TheRedQueen » January 6th, 2011, 10:28 am

This reminded me that I need to go give blood again...and had to double check on Sawyer's next blood donation appointment too...lol. I give, even though I'm a rare type and can only give to the same type (AB-).
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