Tuesday, March 31, 2009
A Worthy Cause
When I opened my Christmas letters in December I got a pleasant surprise from my friend Emily--after several years of waiting, she and her husband were able to adopt a baby girl. And then a few months later their baby got very, very sick. She has been diagnosed with a very rare blood disorder that means her immune system is attacking and destroying her blood cells. Right now she is on chemotherapy, and will need a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow donation works differently from organ donation and you cannot volunteer directly for a specific person. However, you can sign up for the national registry and become a donor. Even if you cannot specifically help my friend's daughter, I want to encourage people to look into donation and sign up. Maybe one of you will be the right match for her or someone else. This issue also feels personal to me because my grandfather died of leukemia and I had a cousin who died of cancer (and received a bone marrow transplant as part of his treatment). I'm sure most of us out there have known people affected by cancer and other diseases that can be treated with bone marrow. Check out the website and figure out how you can be involved; there are some useful FAQ's here. Unfortunately I will probably not sign up at this time because (I know I haven't mentioned this here) I would like to try and get pregnant during the next few months. So, if you're immediate future plans don't include that step, look into donation. You might be able to save a life.