Monday, June 29, 2009

How to be a Donor

Many of you have been asking, "How can I help?" 

And although many of you have sent cards, and emails, and brought over dinner, and let us unwind in your swimming pool, and invited us out to dinner and helped plant and weed my garden, there is another way you can help.

You can register to be a blood marrow donor by going to:

I've just signed up and I'm being sent a kit with swabs for collecting cheek cell samples and returning them in a provided envelope. Usually the cost is $52 but this month it's free by using the promo code they provide at the time of ordering. (You're asked to give your credit card info but the last screen shows a promo code credit and your balance owed is zero.)

I'm probably not going to be a match for Gil but I've entered my name in the registry and, hopefully, I'll be a match for someone, like Gil, on the waiting list. I hope so.

Gil's two sisters have the best chance (25%) of matching his HLA type and our kids have the next most likely chance. And they've all been tested and we're awaiting the results. Otherwise, he's dependent on the International Bone Marrow Registry donors. 

If he gets a perfect match, he'll get the transplant at Karmanos Cancer Center. An imperfect match will most likely send us to Seattle.

He will definitely need a bone marrow transplant if he is to be cured. 

Please consider joining the registry and getting typed for HLA.

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