Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Slackers! Donate blood or marrow or both!

If you look at the date on the last article, you'll see someone's been a little slack. Hmm. Could it be me? I sat down to read a Caring Bridge post and it reminded me that I need to update this very important website. So, I'm sipping a glass of wine ... I'm sorry, what's wrong with drinking alone? ... and trying to come up with some super brilliant "suggestions" that will not cause Michelle to go broke. Yes, Michelle, I'm singling you out. Since I'm 87% certain that you are the only non-cancer mom reading this blog. Or the only one who is busting you A@& carrying out my suggestions. Oh, I just fake-cussed on a Lent-inspired blog. This is not good.

Okay. Back to helping kids with cancer. Two very very simple things:

1. GIVE BLOOD (or platelets). If you aren't a nurse or a cancer mom or a follower of Lindsay-the-great, you may not realize that chemo wipes out the bone marrow and cancer patients require numerous blood and platelet transfusions. I've tried to guestimate how many Lindsay had during her treatment. Rough count ... 80, maybe? That includes platelets and packed red cells because they are given separately, rather than whole blood. But still. I would have to donate for more than 10 years before I make that up! Can you help? Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule an appointment. And don't give me the "I'm afraid of needles, I get queazy, I don't have time crap". Matt used to use that as an excuse (and he does pass out). Still, Lindsay was afraid of needles. She got queazy when she was anemic. None of us had time for cancer. This is something you can do and it is all that more meaningful if it is a little challenging :)

2. The other not-quite-so-free way to help out? Become a marrow donor. I saw the commercial yesterday. I was in tears the entire time. Although the cancer-accuracy-policewoman in me was saying "She's not bald. She should be bald. Or at least her hair should be matting up from the chemo. And where is her N100 mask?" Okay, you know, maybe I know too much about cancer. But still, the commercial makes me cry every time. Now, it does cost a little to become a marrow donor. Why? Because the genetic analysis is a bit more complicated than blood typing. It's about $50. Sometimes companies sponsor drives and registration is free. If you aren't "legal" to be a bone marrow donor (too old, pre-existing condition, etc), consider making a $50-100 donation to the National Marrow Donor program so that cost of registration to offset the costs for 1-2 donors. Our friend Kate will be going for either bone marrow or stem cell transplant within the next few months because of relapsed ALL. If Lindsay relapses, she will require tranplant. This is quite simply giving of yourself to save someone you've never met. If you haven't already registered, get off the stick already!

This morning, we were making breakfast and Lindsay said, "Do you know this is the season of Lent?" Apparently they've really been hammering home this whole Lent-thing in chapel. Lindsay is a big fan of Father Brad and chapel. She can say the entire Lord's prayer and grins whilst doing it as if to say, "Aren't you impressed? Father Brad taught me that." Anyhoo, it is the Season of Lent and aren't we lucky to be able to give of ourselves to help those who need it? So, don't sit around pitying the families. Your pity is a waste of time. Get to work!

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