Thursday, February 09, 2006

Marrow Donation

Isn't amazing that something that happened 12 years ago can still affect you so much today.
Back in 89, I was living in Southern California and I used to go to the City of Hope quite often in order to give blood. Well, one day, I had my math wrong, and went in about a week to early. The lady at the desk asked if I would like to sign up to become a marrow donor, so that I wouldn’t feel like I had wasted a trip. Now I had heard horror stories about giving marrow, so I asked her what the real deal was. As it turned out, all I had to do that day was to give a small amount of blood, they would type it and put me in a computer, and then there was, something like, a 1 in 200,000 chance that I would match with a patient. So I'm thinking that I can beat those odds. Come on, if I were in a drawing for 4 prizes, and only 5 people signed up I'd be the one walking away with nothing. 1 in 200,000? No problem.
So, I move back to Utah in 1990 and start back into the real world. I get a job, and a girlfriend life is sweet, right?
April 1992, I get a call from the Intermountain Marrow Program. I had a preliminary match with a patient. I'm not sure how they tracked me down, but they did. So, I go in and give some more blood, so that they can do some more tests. Something like six months go by and I'm now engaged and am getting married in October, and I get another call. I didn't completely match with the first patient, but I did with a second. Now I'm thinking, What’s this 1 in 200,000 crap!
So, I go in for more tests and stuff and flash forward to April 1993 I find myself laying in a hospital bed with a numbing pain in my hips because I had just given 500ml of my bone marrow.
I found out that it went to a 4-year-old little boy named Christian. The marrow took; he was cured, until late summer when his leukemia came back. There was nothing more anyone could do, and he passed away at home. When I got that news, it killed me. Even though I had never met him, I was crushed.
So now, flash forward to today. My wife's cousin has this same disease. She's had two doses of chemo and we are organizing a marrow drive, to try and find her a donor. I'm glad that I have the work, because without it I would be crying in a corner. Weeping like a baby A hungry, angry baby. (sorry).
Life changing... those are the only words I have. Life changing.
Would I do it again? In a heart beat. In less time than it takes to change a light bulb, I would be back in that O.R. telling them to give me the needle.
If you’re not in the registry, join. It only takes a little time and a little blood to do it. they have all the answers for you.

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