I also want to spread awareness that donating is not a painful procedure like it once was. It is seldom that the doctors have to go into the bone and extract the actual marrow (it does occur sometimes, but I'm not sure under what circumstances). They usually draw blood out (like when you donate blood), and filter out the stem cells. The stem cells are then injected into the patient (like my dad) and they "find" their way to their new home in the marrow and set up shop. They begin producing, so the patient begins growing healthy (donor) bone marrow. It's actually quite amazing.
This is my Dad's nurse administering the stem cells!
My Dad was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) in October 2009. He underwent several rounds of intensive chemotherapy, and had a stem cell transplant 72 days ago! I can not tell you the number of blood products he received while getting chemotherapy, so I also encourage everyone to donate blood on a regular basis.
That's all I have to say about this today. I'm off to spend time with my dad, on his birthday - thanks to an anonymous, generous soul who decided to join the national registry and be a donor. We don't know who this person is, but whoever....WE LOVE YOU!!