Saturday, September 18, 2010

Be the match

I'm not sure if I've told you guys but I work on a pediatric bone marrow transplant unit. The kids I take care of everyday are the sickest of the sick. We put their tiny bodies through more crap than you will probably have to go through in your entire life. We take parents away from their families, friends, jobs, entire lives to live in a tiny room with their ill child for weeks, months, even years. These families have to adjust to this new "normal". They fear things like large groups of people, cold and flu season, germs, and people not wearing gown, gloves, and mask to care for their child. They are the kids in the plastic bubble.

A bone marrow transplant can potentially save their life. It's their only hope. A bone marrow transplant is horrendous. Chemo, steriods, infections, complications, side effects, thousands of medications, more complications, tests, lab work, isolation, emergency situations, allergic reactions etc etc etc. They literally live their lives day to day not knowing what is going to happen. Is today the day they will react to a drug they have received a dozen times? Today will their blood pressure go through the roof and have a seizure? Today will their line get infected and have to start new antibiotics?

Yesterday I joined the National Marrow Donor Program. For free. Registration is free for the month of September. A family at work let me know about the opportunity so I jumped at it. What if one day one of my loved ones needs a life saving transplant? I would gladly give a little bone marrow for any one of yours.

So, I was wondering if you all could do the same. Take advantage of this free registration by going to and signing up. It takes less than 10 minutes. They will send you a package in the mail that contains swabs for you to rub on the inside of your cheek and send back. That's it. No blood work, no tests. You will be entered into the registry where people will search for possible matches for their patients. If you happen to be a match they want to pursue they will ask you to go to a hospital close to you for tests and some blood work.

I know some people think that they don't want to have to be put under general anesthesia and have a needle put into your hip. What if it was your child/parent/loved one? What if it was MY child that needed a BMT? I would gladly donate and I hope someone else would too if the roles were reversed.

If I can get ONE person to sign up, that is ONE life that could be saved. That's it. It really is that simple. So, go to and sign up. Go. Right now. And then come back and comment and let me know you did.

Thank you SO MUCH for your donation.


Mom/Grandma said...

You give a very compelling argument. So much so that I(the one scare to death of needles)am going to go over and register!! I would want someone to do this for my grand daughters!! So say a prayer for me. The biggest chicken in the world!! Love you guys!!!

Jen said...

Thank you mom. <3

Mom/Grandma said...

I have sent the link to all of my friends. Just wanted to let you know. My kit will be here in 10 days. :-)

Jen said...

Tell people at work, friends, etc. There are only 17 million people on the registry. Yes that is a lot, but more people than that watch football every Sunday!!!