Be the Match

A couple of months ago, I read this story about bone marrow registration and it brought to mind all of the reasons why I decided so many years ago to be added to the National Marrow Donor registry (now called “Be the Match”). The story is about a woman who met the bone marrow donor who saved her life. It made me cry.

Rewind to 1997ish: I was in college, watching an afternoon talk show that rhymes with Nosie O’Snonnell, and she had a story on about bone marrow donation and how easy it was to get on the registry. Being young and idealistic and thinking that this was one way that I could help change someone’s life, I found out that my local blood services agency allowed for college students to be registered for free, so I went down and got signed up.

Every time I’ve moved since then, I’ve contacted the registry to let them know how to find me. Because I really want to be found…is that weird? I would LOVE to be able to be a donor someday.

Interested? You can donate your baby’s cord blood (we did twice). You can join the registry. Be the Match relies on donations to fund the cost of registering new members. It costs the organization about $100 per person to get a profile added to the registry; sometimes, they have to charge a small fee when you join (I know when my sister joined last year, it was free). It’s very simple to join; you first fill out an application online and request a kit, where you’ll just swab the inside of your cheek at home and send it back to them.

If you would be a match for someone, Be the Match would contact you and YOU decide whether it will work for you to be a donor. Obviously, if you’re joining, they hope that you’ll say yes, but if for some reason it won’t work, it is still your decision.

I’d love to know if there are others of you out there who are on the registry, or if any of you have decided to join!

10 responses to “Be the Match

  1. please do it. one of my best friends had leukemia our freshman year of college. none of her family members were a match but she was lucky to find a bone marrow match from a guy just a little older than us out in either wyoming or montana. i don’t know if they still talk today but they did for the few years afterwards and he even came to visit her at college once.

  2. so weird! i have always wanted to be contacted too! i joined the registry back in college and have always updated my contact information when moving…and to this day when i have an unknown number come up on my cell phone i always wonder if it’s a call from the registry. that probably sounds weird but that is what goes through my head. such a small sacrifice to save someone’s life.

    awesome you posted this.

  3. Nicole-this post is awesome! As you know my cousin Scott passed away last fall but I just want to say that some years before he died, he received a bone marrow transplant. I feel that it was because of this transplant that he was able to enjoy more time on this Earth, and we all have great memories to cherish of those years, that may otherwise have not been the case. I’ll definitely be looking into this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Lindsey Seiler Miller

    Hi Nicole, I love reading your blog. Also, I’m so happy to see that you added a post about this. I’m a member of the registry as well and have been for a while. This is such an important cause. My sis-in-law is very active with Be the Match and sometimes holds Bone Marrow Drives in honor of a friends little boy who passed away less than a year ago from HLH (Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis). This child had just turned 2 when he passed and in his short life had 3 bone marrow transplants. As if his parents haven’t endured enough pain, they have found that their 4year old is also a carrier of this terrible disease and is now undergoing the same treatment.
    Thanks for posting this on your blog, it’s so important to get the word out.

  5. Glad you posted about this. I am already registered (since 2003) but I just got a letter from them informing me to update my info. I need to get on that!

  6. What a great post, Nicole. My friend Angie works with the National Marrow Donor registry, and the stories she tells me bone marrow transplants about are amazing! 🙂

  7. I’m on the registry too! =)

  8. I love the idea of donating cord blood. I like the idea of banking it, but not having the money to do that kind of thing, I love the idea of it not being thrown away, but donated instead. That’s an awesome idea. Any advice on that?

  9. Awesome. I have always thought about doing it, but you have prompted me to sign up. Thanks Nicole.

  10. Done. Thanks.

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