a magic moment
Two weeks ago I hit one of those crossroads again, where you decide whether to engage or not to engage. I received a voicemail from the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry, saying that I was a potential match for a patient.
On Jan 24, 2007 I volunteered to join the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry at a recruitment drive held at the Northwestern University. It took me a second, but I remembered when this happened, and I remember being really unsure about registering to donate bone marrow.
I was visiting Tyler at Northwestern and we passed by a random recruitment drive in their campus center. Before I knew it, Tyler was signing up. I remember hesitating because the thought of getting large needles injected in my hips sounded incredibly unappealing. I was pretty physically active at the time, and not being able to exercise for a month or so seemed like a lot to forgo. I remember signing up thinking - what are the chances that I'd be a match.
Ten years later, and at a completely different stage in my life, I really hope I'm a match for this patient.
If I am a match and depending on what the patient needs, it would be either a Bone marrow donation or a Peripheral blood stem cell donation. I donate blood pretty regularly, so the stem cell donation just seems like a 4-6 hour long blood donation. The Bone marrow donation seems a bit more serious, as it requires undergoing anesthesia, and they would be removing bone marrow from each hip.
Bone marrow donors are likely to feel pain/soreness or fatigue for a few weeks after the donation - and some up to a month.
Someone asked me if I was intimidated by the bone marrow procedure and the pain. This time I said no. I could live with a month of pain and inactivity if that meant I was able to save someone's life, or make someone else's life incrementally better.
But really, how often do we get the opportunity to help someone in this capacity, and to give back to humanity.
Learn more how to get involved - Gift of Life