The Gift of Life (I Hope)

December 24, 2007 at 3:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

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After years of saying “I should”, today I can finally say “I did”. I joined the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. Well, almost, anyway. I still have to complete the tissue typing process. The testing kit should arrive in a couple weeks. It’s as simple as a couple cheek swabs.

So why marrow donation? The idea stems from two events, both of which occurred about ten years ago. The first was the loss of a childhood friend to leukemia, which can sometimes be treated with a bone marrow transplant. The second involved a bizarre series of tests that led doctors to believe that I might have had leukemia. (I didn’t. My test results were just waaaaay on one side of the bell curve. Today, fortunately, those test results come back much closer to average so doctors don’t look at me like I’m quite as much of a freak.)

Included among the barrage of tests was a bone marrow test. It consisted of laying on a table while a surprisingly-large straw was jammed into my pelvis. It didn’t hurt at all, nor was there much discomfort. There was just a little “grinding” that was kind of weird. Afterwards I could walk just fine, and I don’t recall any significant residual pain. Bone marrow donation isn’t much different, so I figured, what the heck.

Now, I’m not telling you this so that you think I’m some sort of hero. I haven’t even done anything yet! Rather, I hope that by posting it I might spur somebody to pursue a donation of their own that they’ve been pondering for a long time. Maybe marrow, or blood, or even cash. It’s always easier to do something when you know others are doing it, too. It’s how we humans work. So if you have been sitting on a donation for far too long, like I was, consider this the “sign” you were waiting for. It’s worth it.

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beerorkid December 26, 2007 at 2:25pm

I tip my hat to you sir.

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