Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolution: Save A Life

How cool is it to save a life?

I guess there are many ways to do this. You could quit your job and become a fireman, policeman, nurse, or paramedic. If you have the time and money, you could become a doctor. Or how about traveling to a 3rd world country to adopt a few kids. Or, to save time, start hanging out in the seedy parts of town, waiting to intervene in a robbery. I guess there are many ways to achieve the goal.
But here is one that may be a little easier than the above. Become a bone marrow donor. Registering requires nothing more than a cotton swab swipe of the inside of your mouth.

Here's the deal: Only 30% of cancer patients have a suitable match within their family. The rest must turn to the registry to save their lives. 11 million people are registered as donors, but matches are still very difficult to find. Every year there are 11,000 requests for matches, but over 7,000 can not be matched. That is over 7,o00 people every year being told that the technology exists to save their life, but the donor does not. That donor might be you.

It always helps to personalize the need, so here you go...

Steven Giallourakis of Cleveland, Ohio was diagnosed with stage IV Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) at age 15. With extensive chemo, radiation, and surgeries, Steven beat the cancer. He is now an 18 year old college freshman. But, as often happens with high dose chemo in teenagers, a secondary Leukemia (AML) has now attacked. The only effective treatment for relapsed Leukemia is a bone marrow transplant. But his brothers and parents are not matches. And one can not be found in the registry. Right now, Steven is waiting for a miracle. And that miracle might be you.

Steven Giallourakis

Steven at the end of treatments for bone cancer. And, while on the topic, please remember Mason Mcleod in your prayers. He had Burkitt's, and beat it down into remission...a couple of times. But it came back. Mason receives his bone marrow transplant on January 8th. He will be down at Duke University Hospital for about 100 days.

Mason receives his bone marrow transplant on January 7th due to relapsed Burkitt's Lymphoma.

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