April 24, 2012

If you had an opportunity to save a life, would you take it?

I have always been about organ donation. I am registered as a donor and, in the event of my death, I want them to take everything that they can to save the life of someone who needs it.

It wasn't until recently that I came to the realization that I don't actually have to die in order to help save someones life.

Sure, I've always known that donating blood saves lives, but I've always been too damn scared to do it myself because I am a total baby and can't stand the thought of needles. Oh, right... my tattoos. Yeah, that's partly what made me open my eyes. That, and the fact that a blood transfusion once saved my husband's life.

I started thinking about it a few months ago when I volunteered to run the table at a blood drive for my office, and I've come to the conclusion that I need to start giving blood regularly. I need to do my part to pay it forward. I am so grateful for the people that donated their blood so that Brett could have it when he needed it, and if I am capable of sharing, why shouldn't I?

The second thing that has really helped me to open my eyes, came shortly after that blood drive. A friend of mine at work, whom I have become extremely close with over the past year, has a son who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. He is currently awaiting a bone marrow transplant.

Did you know that donating bone marrow isn't as tough or painful as it used to be? The majority of donors no longer have to be put under anesthesia to have the marrow drilled out of their hip. Now, it's mostly all done through donating blood. Then once you have donated your blood, there is a process that takes weeks, but will eventually result in bone marrow ready for transplantation.

Isn't that cool?

You could save someones life.

As soon as I found out about Be The Match, I signed up to be a donor. It's a quick online registry where you can go sign up to be a part of an amazing cause. It doesn't cost you a dime, and you will have the chance to be a hero for someone who needs your help.

My swab kit - Ready for processing!
Once you sign up, they will send you your swab kit. You swab your cheeks and pop them back in the mail so that they can test you and see if you'd be a match for someone. It's that easy! 
If you want to follow Marshall's story, you can visit his blog: HERE
If you want to sign up for the Be The Match bone marrow registry, you can do that HERE