Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Me - Be the Match 10 Years Later

This morning I received a phone call that I had been expecting for about a week.  It was the last call of this nature that I would receive and it brought closure to a beautiful experience.  For ten years, wow, time sure does fly, researchers have been calling me every so often to ask about my health to ensure that what I had put my body through had no lasting ill effects.  There were certainly lasting effects but none of them ill.

10 years ago today I received a similar phone call that began this epic journey.  I was told that I was a nearly perfect bone marrow match for a 21 year old male dying from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

I consulted with Nicole, the Donor Program, and numerous doctors.  I went through test after test, was poked, prodded, weighed, and tested.  I was healthy enough for the process and decided to make the donation knowing full well that I could back out at any time.  I also knew that backing out would mean almost certain death for the young man.

Rather than take my bone marrow they decided to harvest my stem cells.  Nicole gave me regular shots that tricked my system into going into overdrive making these cells.  My blood was flooded with these cells that they would then remove during the harvesting process.

I remember the donation day well.  I was in a hospital bed for 3-4 hours with giant needles in both arms.  My blood would leave one arm, travel through a machine that would take the stem cells and then return to my other arm (a little cooler).  I couldn't move or take a break.  I had to just sit there, listen to books on tape or watch TV.

Almost six months after the procedure I learned that the young man had made a complete recovery.  Thank God for prayers, the human mind, and modern science.

So now, 10 years later, I've answered my last questionnaire....unless I'm a match again....

If you aren't registered as a potential donor, you should do so as soon as you can.  It may save someone's life, affect generations to come, and even convert souls created for eternity.

LINKS lead to my original posts about the journey.

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