No, not of my wedding (though come October 1st, that’ll be ten years), but it will be my 17-year anniversary of being a bone marrow donor registrant through the National Marrow Donor Program (aka., Be The Match).
At the time, I was attending school at The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and I setup a donor drive in conjunction with the Black Students Association. I was a single mom to an 18-month old biracial child and pregnant with another one on the way. The drive was a focus to encourage more minorities to become donors.
It was important to me that should my children ever have a need, that there would be this option available for them. The only way to increase awareness was to get out there and do it! So, without hesitation, I did! I was told we had a pretty good drive…it’s been a long time and I can’t recall the numbers exactly but I remember thinking at the time that it didn’t sound that great. But every donor counts!
According to the American Medical Association,
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) maintains a database of over 5 million potential donors that is accessed worldwide looking for the “perfect” match; each person searching for the light in a seemingly infinite tunnel. However, even the world’s largest bone marrow registry can not save lives without the support of volunteers…including you and me. The number of minority participants grows continually each year, with a paralleled increase in demand. Even though family members are screened for matches the majority of patients require an unrelated donor. Genetically, greater compatibility can be found within ethnic groups, thereby enhancing the need from minorities.
So, are you ready to commit? Ready to join and step up if needed? (Click the image below!)