What’s going on in my world?  

Oooh the usual… just swabbing my cheeks, barcoding the samples, labeling them a biohazard, shoving them in an envelope and leaving them for the postman.  That’s normal… I do this nearly everyday.

I’m swabbing because I just put myself on the Be The Match list with the National Marrow Donation Program.  The National Marrow Donation Program houses a giant list and genetic samples of possible donors… a list about 12 million people long.  Dang!  Doctors look for genetic matches for patients that suffer from life threatening illnesses like leukemia and lymphoma.  Sometimes doctors and patients find a genetic match among the millions on the list… sometimes they don’t.  

If I’m a match, some doctors will come to knock me out and take bone marrow from my lower back.  Someone gets my good bone marrow and I grow my own bone marrow back.  Success!  I decided to become a part of the National Marrow Donation Program because I feel blessed enough to be strong and healthy, and would be more than happy to share that health with someone else.  

It’s a bit commitment … one that I considered for months before signing up.  See, there’s needles… and many hours of prep and testing before the actual donation begins.  And… needles.  

I’m not telling you about the National Marrow Donation Program because I want you to rush out and sign up.  It was the right choice for me… but it might not be for everyone.  But… if you think marrow donation might be right up your alley, well then heck!  Get on it!  I just wanted to share.  Now you know what I’m up to when I’m not in the kitchen making cookie dough, or avoiding dishes, or snacking, or drinking wine, or being otherwise silly and unproductive.  

Now you know. 


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68 thoughts on “Swabbing

  1. Joy,

    You are amazing. Not that I actually know you or anything, but I wish more people were like you – caring about their fellow man (and woman.) I am deathly afraid of needles (I have to cover my eyes even when I see one on tv!) but your post inspires me to be a better person in other ways.

  2. Its people like you who save people like me. I would like to thank you for not only donating but bringing it to others attentions. They dont realize how a simple donation of blood or marrow can save more then one life.

    Without kind donations like yours I would not be here today.

  3. I think it’s incredibly awesome you’re doing this. I gave blood fairly regularly before I started to traveling to places that make me ineligible to donate. I hope this post inspires lots of people to think about ways they can give to others!

  4. Good for you! I’ve been registered for almost five years and in addition to donating plasma/platelets/double red cells once a month, I feel like this is simply paying-it-forward. Congratulations on your bravery!

  5. Wow… I have to say that I’m very touched by this. When I first read this I though “wow, maybe I can do that…” but I can’t!! I’m still trying to get it in my head that I am now a cancer patient, with lymphoma. I’ve always been super healthy my whole life, and now I’m suddenly not. I had a bone marrow biopsy last week and it was the most painful experience of my life. I just laid on the table thinking “I don’t want to be here doing this!!” I can’t even tell you how touched I am that people like you are willing to do this, because I tell you it’s not fun ;). Thank you for being willing to save someone’s life, because that is what you are doing. Bless you!

  6. As a mother, I must thank you. Saving lives has such deeper meaning to me since I’ve had a child (and adopted another) …bless them both. Thank you for making life more possible. :)

  7. Joy – you are awesome for highlighting such an important cause! My best friend was fortunate enough to be selected as a match and donated healthy cells to someone in need. Her procedure was done through apheresis so there was no lower back drilling involved (even more reason to register)! Rock on, your character shines brightly through your blog. :)

  8. That’s just awesome! I’ve thought about doing that, but hadn’t ever really looked into it. Now, since I’m going to acupuncture and not quite so queasy about needles, I think I might check it out. Joy, you’re awesome. =)

  9. I signed up for Be The Match back in July. I too felt that I can overcome my fear of surgical procedures to help someone who is very, very sick.

    If I ever get the call that I am a match, I believe I will be just as excited as the person getting my bone marrow!

  10. You guys are super sweet! I love hearing about the ways that you give back!
    Humane Society, Toys for Tots, World Food Day, Socks for Soldiers! All such great stuff! I like you all. So much.

  11. Wow. And I thought donating to the Humane Society and Toys For Tots was nice. I got nothing on you – quite a selfless act, Joy. Good for you!

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