I’m not writing this post to be like, “Hey look at me! I’m doing this really good thing”.
I’m writing this post because the idea of “being the match” makes me uncomfortable but in a good way.
The idea of needles going into my body FREAKS ME THE HECK OUT.
I have been turned down to donate blood multiple time because my heart rate was through the roof. Why? BECAUSE NEEDLES PEOPLE.
I’m also the girl who made her mom hold her hand when she was 18 just to get pricked for a standard Tuberculosis skin test.
To this day I will still shed a tear when I’m told that I have to go get a shot.
Seriously if I know I have a doctors appointment coming up that involves needles I will lose sleep and get sick to my stomach from the nerve overload.
And while needles make me pretty dang uncomfortable, isn’t that kind of the way we should be living our lives? Uncomfortably??
I don’t mean in a way that compromises your integrity or morals, but rather in a way that pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Doing things that make us uncomfortable is how we learn and grow.
It’s how we do the things we never knew or thought we were capable of doing.
It’s how we help others and save lives both physically and spiritually.
You are not called to live a life that is timid and afraid, but instead, you are called to live a life that is bold and brave.
Cancer is something that affects millions of people and families every year.
My mom was one of these people.
I know what it’s like to watch one of the people you love the most, slowly and painfully die.
I don’t wish that on anyone.
So even if there’s only one person out there that I have the opportunity to help beat cancer, I’m going to take it.
I Want People To sign up to be the match.
I pray that as each of you continue to read this, you’ll do so with an open mind and an open heart.
You could be someone’s perfect match.
Facts. Let’s talk facts.
According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, “1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer.”
And according to Be the Match, “every 3 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer.”
Y’all that’s 480 people each day and 20 people each hour!!!
So I know that cancer is obviously a pretty common disease, but what exactly is it?
“Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer develops when the cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells” (Cancer Treatment Centers of America).
If you’re anything like me, I didn’t really fully understand what bone marrow was and just how important it is.
Feel free to do your own research, but to sum it up, “Bone marrow is a soft, spongy material found in your large bones. It makes more than 200 billion new blood cells every day, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets” (Cancer.Net).
For many people with cancer, this process doesn’t work properly.
For patients diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases, a bone marrow or cord blood transplant may be their best or only hope for a cure.
Only about 30% of people who need a transplant can find an HLA-matched donor in their immediate family.
That leaves 70% of patients who need a transplant that do not have a fully matched donor in their family so these patients depend on organizations like Be the Match and donors like you.
Medical research shows that younger donors are best for patients and provide the greatest chance for transplant success.
Because of this, doctors request donors in the 18 to 44 age group more than 95% of the time.
So if you’re reading this please consider joining the registry to save that remaining 70% of people in need of donors.
And if you can’t join the registry then please think about donating to help fund research and treatments.
These aren’t just numbers, these are real people who desperately need your help.
So how can you join?
You’ll be asked to answer a few simple questions and Be the Match will send you a swab kit.
Once you’ve received the kit and followed the directions you’ll mail the swab back for testing (The postage is already pre-paid for by Be the Match say what).
So what are the chances you’ll actually be called on to donate after you send back the swab kit?
1 in 40 registry members will be called for additional testing.
1 in 300 will be selected as the best possible donor for a patient.
About 1 in 430 members will actually donate.
If you’re called on to donate the process is relatively painless because you will be given anesthesia so that’s pretty neat if the thought of a needle in you gives you the heebie-jeebies :p.
At any given time 6,000 people are searching for a bone marrow donor.
YOU could be the only match to save someone’s life.
These people who are dying could be someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, friend, or child.
Be someone’s miracle.
Let’s get uncomfortable.
P.s.s. Is this even a thing? I don’t know, but shout out to Austin Burke for inspiring me to face my fears and sign up to Be the Match. You rock don’t ever change.