Top of Your Bucket List ? How to Be The Match and Save a Life
“We were all meant to save many lives. God is always trying to save lives, and it seems like He usually uses the least likely people to do it.” - Bob Goff
We are here to help and encourage each other, and every now and then you might get an opportunity to do the unthinkable: a selfless, personal action that helps someone else, even a complete stranger, continue to live. Maybe it's being a Good Samaritan on the scene of a traffic accident or rushing into a burning building - or - taking a little time out of your hectic schedule to donate bone marrow.
Let me back up a couple of steps. I did a radio show in the Twin Cities with Jordana Green, who helped me launch a new national weather channel "WeatherNation" back in 2010. During the pandemic Jordana was diagnosed with a childhood version of leukemia. Chemotherapy couldn't stop the spread of this form of blood cancer, so doctors at Mayo Clinic proposed a bone marrow transplant. A volunteer who matched her blood type (precisely) would donate marrow that produces clean, cancer-free red blood cells. They found an identical match from a man in Germany and Jordana had the treatment in May of 2022. It was a grueling ordeal, but today Jordana is cancer-free and recovering, thanks to amazing doctors (and prayer) and a man she never met who lives in Germany, who took the time to volunteer his bone marrow at Be The Match, the most diverse and exhaustive bone marrow registry on the planet for people suffering from blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.
This is personal for me - my father in law died of lymphoma. Thankfully, Jordana got the help she needed from Be The Match, and it's because an anonymous stranger in Germany volunteered to make his bone marrow available to someone who needed it to live. Jordana is a dear friend and it was painful watching her go through an unimaginable ordeal, during a once-in-a-century pandemic, but in the end Be The Match came through with the bone marrow she needed to recover, so her body could create healthy, non-cancerous red blood cells. Read more about Jordana's story here.
If you are between the age of 18 and 40 you can donate bone marrow. According to Be The Match it's easy to register, receive a free swab kit and then track down an identical match (which may take months, even years). You never know when the call will come in to donate - and save a life in the process.
According to Be The Match research shows that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants. Doctors request donors in the 18-35 age group nearly 75% of the time. When you join Be The Match Registry, your tissue type is added to the registry. It’s not a marrow donation; you don't actually donate marrow until you are a perfect match for a patient in need. And the vast majority of donors provide their marrow through a simple IV - it's just like giving blood!
If you are chosen to donate your bone marrow you have the satisfaction of knowing you may have saved another person's life - a friend, family member or complete stranger on the other side of the planet. Personally, I can't think of a better feeling than knowing that you stepped up, and helped someone else to live a full life.
What better gift is there than that?