Last night was a Cause for Celebration: an inspiring event about what we’ve as a group done so far to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where we heard personal stories of survival and battles with blood cancers, and where we were marrow typed for the donor bank.
If you can’t give money (as I know many of my friends are financially strapped these days), you CAN still help the cause by becoming a potential marrow donor. And if you have given money, or plan to, becoming a marrow donor is another way to *really* make a difference. You could directly save a life.
Like any organ match donor program, finding a perfect fit is hard. The larger the bank of volunteers the better the chances of saving someone’s life. One of the real-life stories we heard was a woman who needed a stem cell transplant. She had 2 siblings. Each sibling only has a 30% chance of matching her. That’s 70% chance of not having a match in her immediate family. Not good chances. She was lucky, though, one of her brothers was a match. She’s alive and well now, and as she put it, carrying her brothers DNA and curly hair these days.
What does it take to be a donor: Getting on the donor list is easy. It’s one vile of blood and a questionnaire. That’s it. Nothing invasive to be typed and added to the volunteer registry. If you get contacted as a match, you may have to undergo an invasive procedure or not. It all depends on exactly what is needed. Stem cells are taken from blood so not too big of a deal, while marrow does require anesthesia but is still in outpatient procedure. You can read more details on where to become a donor and what giving marrow and stem cells entails at www.marrow.org.
What are you waiting for?
A little more fun: Bowl-a-thon
For those of you in SF, mark your calendars for April 9 for a benefit bowling event at the Presidio bowling alley. I’ll be e-mailing out more info to friends here in the city, but if you don’t hear from me and want to know more, drop me an e-mail.
We will also be raffling off goods at the bowl-a-thon so if you have something cool to donate for the raffle, let me know asap. The more cool good the more fun for everyone (and the better the fundraiser will be.)
I’m stuck at that 94% I mentioned a few days ago. Planning to give? No time like the present!
Help the cause: If you haven’t already donated for the hike and would like to pitch in to help me reach my $3,500 minimum goal (and in turn help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in their fight against blood cancers), log on to http://www.active.com/donate/hfdsf/hfdJHoadle for more information and an online donation form. Rather donate via check? E-mail me for details.