Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is my Dad's 59th birthday.  So, in honor of his special day (even though it's already posted on my blog) - I want to make everyone reading this aware of the importance of BONE MARROW DONATION!  You can go to http://www.marrow.org/ to learn more about becoming a donor, to register, and/or donate money.  (Donations are how the registry keeps it free for others too join, it helps pay for the cost of initial DNA testing).  The Be The Match organization also helps patients and their families with the financial burden of stem cell/bone marrow transplants. 

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!!

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for the reminder about the importance of this day and blood and marrow donors. I hope your father is doing well. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  2. If you can't donate blood, can you donate bone marrow? I have low iron.

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  3. thanks for the inspiring post - you actually reminded me to look for a blood drive!

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  4. Thank you so much for the education on bone marrow donation. I didn't realize that the procedure had changed and that it wasn't so painful.

    I'd be curious to know the answer to the question posed by Semi-Slacker Mom. I too am anemic, but I would donate bone marrow in a heartbeat if I could.

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  5. In checking the medical guidelines at www.marrow.org you CAN register to be a bone marrow donor even if you are anemic, UNLESS, you have aplastic anemia. This is a much more serious and rare form of anemia where you are deficient in not only red blood cells, but all 3 types (red, white and platelets). Thanks to everyone for reading and considering my post!

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