CONTRIBUTED BY ESSIE WU
Some of you may know of someone who has been diagnosed with leukemia in the past. For some patients diagnosed with leukemia or other serious blood diseases, their only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant.
Even though we live overseas, we can help these people find their match by joining the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which is part of the National Bone Marrow Registry. Approximately 75% of people who need a bone marrow transplant do not have a family member who is a match, so they need to try to find one in the national registry. A person is more likely to find a match among his or her own ethnic group. Minority individuals are underrepresented in the registry; therefore Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and people of mixed racial heritage have a harder time finding a match. So we especially need more ethnic minorities to sign up!
Joining is easy, it requires only a swab of your cheek, and anyone in good health between the ages of 18 and 60 is eligible. If you are interested, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a donation kit. Or better yet, get your Family Readiness Group (FRG), work unit or some friends together and request kits for everyone interested!
After you sign up, the only thing required is that you update them on your contact information when you move so that they can find you if you are the match someone needs to have a shot at a cure. If you did have the opportunity to donate and literally have the chance to save a life, then the process for you would not be difficult and they would work to make it as convenient as possible for you.
For more information on the process, see www.dodmarrow.org. This website and the National Bone Marrow Donor Program website (www.marrow.org) have lots of further information, including FAQ’s. They also have incredibly inspiring stories about people who have donated and heart-warming photos of donors with the recipient they helped to live.
Please consider signing up, I know there are people out there right now hoping you will!
This post was originally published on our sister site, KoreaYe, but we think it relates to life here as well.