I haven’t mentioned much about this because I’m not one to ask for much of help. Plus I figure that everyone has their own concerns. But I need to ask for some help now.

My Mother was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2011. She handled five rounds of chemotherapy very well and the leukemia went in remission. That’s great news. We can’t ignore the statistics though that say that it will probably come back, and will be partially immune to further chemotherapy when it does. The doctors are saying that Mom’s best chance for survival may be a bone marrow, or stem-cell, transplant. Getting one however is not that simple.

I’m asking that if you feel so inclined, that you consider getting tested to see if you are a match. With 9 million people in the registry, there is not a perfect match for Mom. Yes, I know, the odds you’ll match my Mom are probably low but crazy things happen, and if not, you may be a match for someone elses Mom, or maybe even for children. Consider that only half of the 10,000 people a year that need a transplant, will have a suitable donor. We need more people to get registered.

Before you discount being tested or donating because of fear of pain or something, I urge you to look in to it as it may not be as invasive as you think. Getting tested is free, takes about 5 minutes and involves swabbing the inside of your cheeks. For donors, I understand that more often than not, the donor sits in a chair for a couple of hours while stem-cells are extracted from their blood, and they usually then go home the same day.

I understand that this can be a very personal and private decision, so I’m not asking you to tell me or my family if you’ve been tested or not. However, I’d love to create some energy around this by setting a goal of getting 100 people tested. If you would like to let me know how many people you know got tested as a result of this, I’d love that.

If you are interested, see the resources to the right. The Community Blood Center in Appleton has a Be The Match coordinator who will be happy to mail you a registration kit, get you registered at the Center, or even help organize a registration drive at your employer, church, school, etc. If you have or know of college students who may be willing to host a campus drive, please have them contact the Center. If you need help organizing a drive or need a ride to get registered, or if there is anything else I can do to help, please let me know.

Sincerest Thanks,

Jeff, his Mom, and his family

How to Donate
In Appleton and Milwaukee areas
Community Blood Center, Inc.
4406 West Spencer Street
Appleton, WI 54914-9106
Kelli VanderWielen
Be The Match Recruitment Specialist
(920) 560-6663
(800) 280-4102 ext 6654

BloodCenter of Wisconsin
638 North 18th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 937-6388
(800) 243-5124 ext 6637

Outside of Appleton/Milwaukee
In Person
Order a Registration Kit

More information
Myths & Facts about Donation
FAQ’s about Donating

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