Sunday 9 October 2016

How to save a life

Many of you out there probably possess a donor card, or have expressed to loved ones that when the time comes, if viable, that you wish to save another persons life. And/ or donate blood from time-to-time.

But have you ever considered signing onto the Irish unrelated bone marrow registry? By signing up (via the form on that site) you will be notified the next time they are collecting in your area, or when a possible match shows up in the system.

For a lot of people out there, bone marrow donation saves their lives. Exactly in the way that blood and organ registries do -it is in no way different and should be acknowledged to the extent that they are. Please consider it... I used to be on the bone marrow registry myself but because of my HL history, I am no longer eligible to be a donor (same goes for blood and organs). This is the case for all those who have ever had blood cancer.

It was a big a blow for me to be honest. I had always had an organ donor card in my wallet just in case, and taking it out made me a bit sad. The first card I ever had was acquired from my local library when I was a kid (I'm pretty sure you have to be 18, or maybe it's 16 for the card to count but I insisted, lol). My sister showed me them and explained their purpose. I was amazed by the idea -that this tiny card could actually help save someones life. That the owner of the card could possibly (circumstances of death and quality of organs pending) grant life during their time of death in this way. But I was also utterly confused as to why such an initiative wasn't compulsory.

Bone marrow and stem cell donation saves the lives of women, men and children all across Ireland, who for a number of reasons do not have the option of requiring matches from family members. Leukemia, lymphomas and rare metabolic disorders are among the reasons why someone may require such a donation.
Check out this website for all details like what the process entails and FAQ, and please do consider it.

I would see it as a personal favour.

Do note though, there are certain health conditions and health histories that the websites omit from their information that may mean you are not eligible. Disclose all medications and medical background that you think may be relevant from the beginning.

You can change your mind at any time, and the actual chances of being called as a match are slim. But the more people on the registry, the better.

If it's not for you, you have reservations, then at least consider carrying a donor card. You can get one here.

Or if you know me personally, I have a stash of them constantly just in case anyone ever needs one.

Have never donated blood? See here for details of when clinics will next be in your town.

Please note -mixed race bone marrow donors are always in high demand. If you are reading this and happen to be of mixed race, then take this as a sign. A plea. A chance to save someone... To anyone reading this -see this how you will, but take something from it. By the end of my ramblings and your reading, make a decision. If not by this, by helping someone in another way.

Need more convincing? Read these articles:

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