Letter: Help 'Be the Match'
I would like to encourage those who are willing and able to consider joining "Be the Match."
This registry is for being a potential donor for someone who needs a bone marrow transplant. In many cases bone marrow is no longer taken from the hip, but instead blood is taken from one arm with the blood going through a machine, which takes out what is needed and then the remaining blood is put back into the other arm with minor side effects for the donor from the procedure. This blood is then used in a stem cell transplant.
I would love to see an area-wide effort to get as many people registered as possible. My son will be having a stem cell transplant next summer due to a disease he was born with in the hopes that it will cure him. We have been dealing with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. They have found 27 people on the registry that match him 99 percent.
My push for donors is not for him but for the two sisters in Ohio, the seven-year-old boy from Canada, and the little three-year-old boy from Iraq whom we've met. They have no match. You could be the person who saves someone's life.
I've talked to a coordinator for "Be the Match'' and she was willing to do a drive here, but suggested a fundraiser and silent auction to help pay for the kits that would be used at the fundraiser. Would anyone step up to join me in this effort or have another idea to make this a reality? Contact me at 320-235-1278 or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another option would be to order a kit through www.marrow.org. A suggested donation of $100 is asked when you order, but it is not required if funds are available to pay for your kit. Ages are 18-60 and the kit is just a 4-spot mouth swab to get registered. It's that easy. The website can answer most questions that you may have and the criteria needed to be a donor.