For years, I have admired Robin Roberts. First as a basketball player, then an ESPN sportscaster. Today, she is the anchor of Good Morning America and a breast cancer survivor. It is obvious that Robin Roberts is a fighter. In June, the world learned about her newest fight. She announced during Good Morning America that she had been diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare disease of the blood and bone marrow. I just happened to be watching Good Morning America that morning. My recent unemployment had given me time to watch television in the morning and on that particular morning I was moved by what I watched. It was in that moment that I knew I needed to do my part to try to help others who are battling Leukemia and other serious blood diseases. That is who I am and that is what I am about. That morning I registered to become a donor in Be The Match Registry.
The process to become a registered donor is very simple.
- Visit www.bethematch.org to learn more about the registry and confirm that you meet the registry guidelines.
- Complete the online registration form. This only takes a few minutes. Once completed, you will order your Buccal Swab Kit.
- A few weeks after registration you will receive your Swab Kit in the mail. Follow the instructions in the kit to collect samples of your check cells.
- Return the samples in the business reply envelope that came in the kit.
The process is that easy. Once the kit is received, it takes a few months for your name to be put on the official member list. When that happens, you become part of every patient’s search for a life-saving donor. I am waiting to be put on that list. I just completed the swab of my cheeks and mailed the kit. I know that I may never be called as a perfect match for someone, but it feels good to know that there is a chance that I could help. I could save a life. If nothing else, my name being on a list may just bring hope to a patient in need. Thousands of patients dream of a possible marrow donor every day. Most patients will not have a donor in their family. They depend on others. They depend on me. They depend on you.
Over that last 65 weeks, I have volunteered with many organizations and many causes. This week’s experience was the easiest by far. There is no reasonable excuse for you not be registered donor. I ask you to take five minutes and register today. You never know, you just might be the ONE person who could save a life. Register. Be A Match. Save a Life.