Monday, June 8, 2009

Be The Match

My mom used to work for City of Hope as a Medical Technologist.  I used to tell people that she plays with blood.  She actually did quite a bit of bloodwork for cancer patients there, specifically in their HLA lab, and was one of the experts that worked on Marissa Ayala's umbilical cord when she was born in order to save Ate Anissa's life through a bone marrow transplant.  That was 18 years ago.  My, how time flies.

This is City of Hope's site outlining the history of their research program.  Funny, I recognize a lot of those names as people that I used to say "Hi" to when visiting my mom at work.  Just a bunch of doctors in lab coats, making scientific history.  Dr. Blume, Dr. Forman, and Dr. Schmidt were all people that my mom would talk about at home, and back then, I had no idea what an impact they had in the world of cancer treatment.

This is the TIME magazine article that made the Ayalas famous, and sparked a huge medical ethics debate.  I remember how proud I was that my mom was a part of that team, and I still am.  Their work was groundbreaking, amazing, and made a lot of people believe in miracles, science, and miracles of science.  Here is an article written by Anissa, 10 years after her BMT.  

My mom also worked on a college friend's blood tissue when he had Hodgkin's Disease, and I'm touched every time I think of how much he wanted to meet my mother to thank her for helping save his life.  

So you can see why Bone Marrow donation is an important cause for me, right?   

I've been on the National Bone Marrow Donor registry ever since one of my co-worker's sons was diagnosed with leukemia, and they had a Bone Marrow drive.  Although I have not yet been called up as a match, I do have another co-worker who was, and generously went through the process of donating her bone marrow.

The registry is now being called "Be The Match," and they are holding a "Marrowthon" to get people to join the registry.  If you are not already on the NBMD list, I encourage you to look into being a donor.  If you are not able to be a donor, then there are other ways to help.  

Join Now - online registration for Be The Match Marrow Registry

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