Register, Be a Match, Save a Life

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.

  1. Visit www.bethematch.org to learn more about the registry and confirm that you meet the registry guidelines.
  2. Complete the online registration form. This only takes a few minutes. Once completed, you will order your Buccal Swab Kit.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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