Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sending spit across the country.

Or DNA? What are you sending when you swab your cheek?

Today I'm sending my spit, DNA, tissue...dammit, I'm not sure what I sent, BUT I'm sending it to the National Marrow Donor Program registry. Once processed, I'll finally be on the donor list for bone marrow.

It's a cause that is near and dear to me, as my Papa (grandpa) passed away from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in 2005. His diagnosis was a shock, and happened while my gramma was in the ICU struggling to survive a pneumonectomy (that's a lung removal, folks) and stroke after her lung cancer diagnosis. Sadly, she ended up passing away and my papa followed almost exactly a year to the date. It's a long story with lots of tears and still lots of aching for them, but I'll spare you. Let's just say I still miss them like a motherfucker and wish so much Sabrina could have known them.

Papa wasn't a candidate for a bone marrow transplant, but his leukemia opened all of our eyes to the disease and the options available for some patients. I immediately wanted to get on the registry, but because we were going to try and get pregnant within a few months (ha ha! back in 2005 people. Christ that took a long time.) I didn't pursue it. I didn't want to be a match and then have to tell someone, oh hey, sorry...I'm pregnant. Can you wait a few months?

A fellow blogger who I know is private so I won't link to her blog notified us that the Be the Match Registry was doing their free registry drive so I signed up. The money was never the issue, but they have made is SO much easier to get on the list now. In the olden days, you had to drive to a specific marrow donation center and the closest to me was over an hour away. Now, they send you some big ass Q-tips, you swab your cheek, pop it back in the mail and hopefully get to help save someone's life one day. Interested? It's not free anymore but check it out: Be the Match Registry

Below is a picture of my papa and me at mine and Chris' engagement party. Papa didn't make it to the wedding, but I'm thankful he at least knew who I was going to marry.

And I have to include a picture of me and my gramma, because she'd want it that way. She'd hate to be left out of the blog, you know.


KK @ Running Through Life said...

Great post. The Bone Marrow Registry is near and dear to my heart and the more people on it, the better chances there are for those that need it. Thanks for sharing! Love the pics!

Stefanie K. said...

I believe it's free until June 22nd, unless maybe they've run out of their free resources? Todd and I went to an actual drive, but it was also free b/c it was during this free time window. Also near and dear to me...and I was surprised how easy it was to do these days.

Emeraldwednesday said...

It's DNA. :-). Good for you- the registry is also near and dear for me. My sister had ALL.