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!