Becoming a bone marrow donor takes less than a minute and could help save someone's life. 

My American Red Cross blood donor card still sits in my wallet. While it was once used for donation appointments, now it just holds a spot in case I'm ever in a situation where I need blood. The truth is, I can't donate blood anymore. While I was successful at donating just once in my life (I made the cut by just 1 point), all other attempts have been unsuccessful due to an iron deficiency. I have tried several times to no avail.

So, that got me thinking. If I can't donate blood, what can I do?

Earlier this year, a family member of mine was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. It was a devastating shock to the entire family. She is young, happy, and lived a normal life...until one day she woke up to find out her body has turned against her. I can't even imagine hearing that kind of news.

While she has been putting up a great fight, she needed help. She needed a bone marrow donor.

Luckily, she found a match! REJOICE!

My cousin's battle has inspired me to become a  bone marrow donor myself. I saw the relief it gave both my cousin and the rest of my family when the news came in that she had found a match.

I wanted to do that for someone one day. I wanted to help save someone's life.

So, I decided to Be The Match.

All I had to do was go to the Be The Match website and enter in some information. It took less than 5 minutes and it cost me nothing. I gave my name, age, race, gender and address. Within the week, my swab kit came in the mail. All I had to do was swab my cheek with two swabs, put them in an envelope, and mail them back - postage already paid.

Be The Match Kit - Photo by Maddie West

 

Swabbin' - Photo by Maddie West

Within 6-8 weeks, I will officially be in the registry to become a bone marrow donor. I will be in the registry for decades, if I choose, and could receive the call for a donation at any time.

During this process, I have heard several times how "bad it hurts" to donate bone marrow. All I can do is shake my head at this comment. The idea of the donation process "hurting" is not going to sway me from become a donor. I'm sure it also hurts to undergo hours of chemo and radiation. I'm sure it also hurts to hear the words, "you have cancer." If all it takes is a little discomfort to save someone's life, sign me up.

Also, I'm still eligible to be a donor even though I'm anemic. Yay!

So, with that being said, I encourage everyone reading this to consider becoming a bone marrow donor. You could literally help save someone's life.

How many people do you know can say they saved someone's life?

Be The Match.