Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Be The Match Registry

All of us here at Minimalist have been personally touched by the effects of cancer in its array of manifestations, so we take every opportunity we can to promote awareness and support in finding a cure.  Very recently, Minimalist writer Emily Jones' little cousin Abby completed  the year-long treatment phase for A.L.L. and moved into maintenance, which is about an 18 month process directed at preventing relapse.  Should a relapse occur for her, she may possibly need a bone marrow transplant.  Bone marrow transplants can often times come from immediate family members, such as parents or siblings, but sometimes they are not close enough matches.  That is where you can help- become a donor.

The National Bone Marrow Donor Program is the world's leading matching organization of bone marrow donors to recipients in need.  Since 1987, their Be The Match Registry has facilitated over 43,000 marrow transplants that have given leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell patients a greater survival rate as they fight the good fight.  The registry has grown to more than 9 million potential donors who are willing to donate marrow to someone they do not yet know, which is downright awesome by our standards.

Throughout January 2012, the American Express Foundation has provided a grant that will pay for all costs associated with joining the Be The Match Registry for any volunteer who signs up.  The Minimalist team would like to encourage all of our readers to take a moment to consider this opportunity, as your decision to join could  quite literally save someone's life.  Please read this before you make your commitment. 

Minimalist writer Christie Thompson actually knows someone who's life was saved by the registry:

 My good friend was diagnosed with Leukemia in the Spring of 2010 and after his first round of treatment and being told he was cancer free, had the incredibly devastating news of finding out only months later that his cancer had returned. At that point, there was no other option than to proceed with a Bone Marrow Transplant since his cells were unlikely to ever return back to normal after the cancer. He went through some of the hardest months of his life - physically and emotionally, to receive the transplant, which ultimately saved his life. An organization I was a part of in college was able to get over 50 students registered with Be The Match in his honor last Spring and now you have the chance as well.

Be The Match pays nearly $100 per individual registration, so this opportunity from the American Express Foundation is incredible and beyond necessary. The survey is short, as it takes no more than 15 minutes online, and they will mail the registration kit directly to your home. It's so simple! We encourage you to make the choice to potentially give someone a second chance at life. It would mean the world to us at Minimalist, not to mention those currently battling life threatening diseases. (On that note, Christie's friend is doing incredibly well and healing at an unbelievable rate! His new stem cells gave him that chance.)

If you decide that marrow donation is not for you, but you still wish to support the National Bone Marrow Donor Program, you may make a financial contribution through their website. 

Emily Jones & Christie Thompson


Christie Hope said...

If you want to read more about my friend Jay's experiences with Leukemia and read some of the most inspiring blog posts of all time, check out his blog Link here.

Be The Match said...

Thank you for your support and commitment to Be The Match. When you help spread the word about our mission and the need for donors, you are helping to make life-saving transplants a reality for more patients.