Are you a part of the US bone marrow registry? If you’re not, you should be! The National Marrow Donor Program is offering free registry (while funds last) until June 22! You should really sign up–I did during their last free registry drive, as it usually costs around $50. They registry especially needs non-white donors, because they are underrepresented.
Over 30,000 Americans need bone marrow or stem cell transplants every year, because of diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and other cancers or genetic diseases. That is a lot of people who need our help! It’s not always possible to find donors within a family, so that is what the registry is for.
It’s super easy. You fill out the form (are you 18-60 and in good health?) and they mail you a couple swabs. You rub them around your cheeks and send them back and VOILA! You are now part of the bone marrow registry.
My inspiration for joining the marrow registry was my mother in law, Gail. In 1995 she was matched with a four year old girl who had leukemia. Gail’s bone marrow match saved the girl’s life! You can read the Be The Match blog for more donation stories.
You can sign up here but hurry! The registry is only free until June 22 or as long as their funding lasts. They are trying to add 46,000 new donors, which is a lot of people, so please forward this information to anyone you think would be interested.
If you’re outside the US, please look into donating in your home country! Every person who joins is a potential life saved. I hope someday I’m able to help someone the same way Gail did. Saving a life is the greatest gift you could ever give.
Here is a beautiful, emotional blog entry from a woman who recently donated her bone marrow and writes about the importance of marrow donation far more eloquently than I ever could. It’s well worth a read.