Don't Just Think About It!

Ever since this whole donor transplant thing with Dad started I've been thinking a lot about what would happen if there were no matches for him in our family. When all the tests came back and we ended up with three matches for the doctors to choose from I was so relieved. David's stem cells can literally save Dad's life. It's incredible to think about. (It makes me a little jealous sometimes Doft, I have to confess. I think all of us would like to be the one to send our stem cells into his body to fight his cancer. It's so cool.)

But there are sacrifices that will have to be made. Doft will have to leave his family for more than ten days. Carolyn, his pregnant wife, will have to single parent her boys. Ethan and Connor will be without a daddy all that time. They had to find a babysitter, Doft had to take time off work, it's a lot to ask of a person, but I know freely and happily given. Love like that is what makes our family so amazing.

A few weeks ago I got a pamphlet in the mail from OneMatch. It's a worldwide stem cell and bone marrow registry. "OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is responsible for finding and matching volunteer donors for patients who require stem cell transplants. Fewer than 30 per cent of patients who need stem cell transplants find a compatible donor within their own families. The rest rely on those who have volunteered to donate stem cells to anyone in need."

I've been meaning to sign up, you can do it online in about five or ten minutes, but hadn't got around to it till yesterday. Then yesterday, while wandering through some cancer groups on facebook, I came across a story that made me feel like even a day longer would be too long to wait. I went to the memorial website of a little boy who lost his fight against leukemia while waiting for the donor who matched him to arrive to save his life. She wasn't free to come in time and a mother lost her son. You can read his full story here. It's so heartbreaking and, to me, inspiring.

All it takes is a quick click, a few minutes to register online, and Canadian Blood services will arrange for you to receive a kit in the mail to collect a painless (and blood free!) swab from your mouth and wham bam! They have you in their registry. You may not be called for years, you may never be called, but just think of what it would mean to you if your child, your sibling, your spouse, your parent or your friend was sick with no hope unless a volunteer's stem cells or bone marrow matched. I can't even imagine what that would be like... Waiting and hoping and then maybe losing.

So do it, do it, do it! (You can even do it with a friend. You both can bend.) (I'm making Glen and I'd make you too if I could.) And don't worry, if you forget like I did, I'll nag you about this again when I get my kit in the mail.

Comments

  1. I told you I had PLENTY of time Drinkatite! Oh, ye of little faith.

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  2. Becky you should post this over on The John Braun Page too.

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  3. you did have plenty of time... and honestly i never doubted you... i was just anxious to read the new post lol... oh... btw... i've posted again too... it's not much... but it's a start...

    oh... btw again... i did it... the onematch thing... and i'm gonna make amanda also

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  4. That is a sad story. I can't imagine. I am so overwhelmed by the fact that we have 3 matches in our family! When Grandma heard, she said.." I always knew there was a reason I had 10 children".
    When I heard I wasn't a match, I felt almost like I had somehow failed at one of the most important things of my life. It's a very strange feeling to be told that you can't save your brother's life, even if you want to. I know that God is the one who heals, not my blood but it was still a very sad feeling that I cannot explain. I am just so thankful that there was three to go and do the job. Just awesome. God is just so wonderful. I will go and register right away. Thank you Becky for reminding us all that it's not just our family who might need us one day. We are very blessed that we do not have to look outside of the family for a donor but there are many who do and I might just be that one. Thank you and don't let any of us forget.

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  5. i signed up right away after reading this! should be getting my info in the mail soon! :)

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