Searching for a Match

Posted by laura on Sep 20 2008 | Uncategorized

We have a lovely friend here in Mill Valley who is just six years old and dealing with leukemia. She and her family are extremely cool and wonderful and they’re managing a tough situation with unbelievable grace. The thing is, she’s going to need a bone marrow transplant and they haven’t found a match yet.

Last weekend there was a donor drive at our elementary school, and we went for the last few hours to help out in any way we could. It was an incredible day; the good will and hope and encouragement were palpable. The last I heard, over 700 people registered in a 6 hour span. Phenomenal.

I wanted to put the word out – the National Marrow Donor Program has access to millions of donors worldwide, but they need more. I just read that the odds of finding a match outside a patient’s family are 1 in 20,000, and more for patients of minority heritage.

A number of people have asked me if I’m concerned about the discomfort of the donation process, and as you’ll see on the National Marrow Donor site – it’s not as simple as giving blood. But I do consider two things. First, I’ve been in the registry now for about 18 years, and I’ve never been called. When I consider that, in addition to the odds above, I feel the privilege of being someone’s match is great. Second, there’s no way my discomfort in donating could even remotely compare with what these patients have been through. I don’t treat the idea lightly, but it isn’t worrying.

Please consider being in the database. Our friend would have a slightly higher chance for a match with donors of Turkish descent, which I think rules out my readership, since you’re all pretty much related to me! But you have friends… I hope you’ll help us spread the word!                                                             

2 comments for now

2 Responses to “Searching for a Match”

  1. is there a website about the child or family? i do know friends who are turkish and wondered if there was a link i could send them.

    23 Sep 2008 at 8:48 am

  2. laura

    yes there is, amy!! i won’t post it here, just to give them a little protection, but i’ll send you the link. thank you!

    23 Sep 2008 at 6:36 pm

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