Many of us have been touched by cancer, in one form or another. And many of us are familiar with the big cancer charity organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Cancer Society. Instead of highlighting those charities during my month of giving daily charity highlight, which have a great deal of public awareness around them already, and already raise millions of dollars each year, I thought I would use my little voice to bring awareness to another aspect of cancer donation.
So Shiny is a blog I read, written by the very funny Catherine Shaffer. Catherine's mother recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. On her blog, Catherine requested, as a way to help save lives, that her readers sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program.
I knew that there was such a thing, but I didn't really know anything about it, nor did I know how simple it was to sign up! I followed the link to the National Marrow Donor Program website and spent some time reading up on Bone Marrow Registry and donation. It is free to sign up. The questionnaire to see if you are a potentially eligible donor took about 2 minutes to complete.
Upon completion I was told that I am potentially eligible and will be sent a kit by mail that will have 4 cotton swabs in it. I will swab my cheek and send them back to be tissue typed.
There is no cost to me to sign up and register, though there is the opportunity to donate to help defray the costs associated with the tissue typing.
Maybe some day in the future I will be contacted about a potential match, and I may be able to donate some of my blood or marrow to help save a life. According to the National Marrow Donor Program website 10,000 people need marrow donations, but only half receive them in time.
It is very simple to sign up. Please consider doing so. You can follow the link above or click on the post title to take you to the registration page.
If you are uncomfortable with becoming a potential marrow donor, there are other ways you can help. The National Marrow Donor Program accepts donations. They also have a Be The Match store, where they sell all kinds of things! Apparel, accessories, bags, jewelry, coffee mugs, picture frames and more.
For my fitness minded friends, the NMDP also puts on a Be the Match Be the One Run in Atlanta, Charlotte, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Long Beach, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland OR, Richmond, San Jose, St. Louis and Tampa. Portland's event is a 5k on July 15, 2012 at the World Trade Center Plaza downtown. You can raise funds to donate to the NMDP and run a quick downtown race.
Maybe a monetary donation isn't in your budget this year. But maybe you can take a few moments and see if you are a potentially eligible marrow donor. You could help save a life!