Wednesday, November 01, 2006
My father, who's only 62, has acute meyloid leukemia. He was diagnosed just over three weeks ago. It's a very aggressive, very dangerous disease. My parents are amazing, giving, loving people and it breaks my heart to see my father, who has always been so strong and vibrant, knocking on death's door. And what's amazing is that when I visit him in the hospital he's still just as strong and vibrant as before - at least on the outside. It's hard to believe there's an all-out war being fought on the inside.
Now the only thing that can save his life is a bone marrow transplant, most likely from an anonymous donor through the National Marrow Donor Program. (Unless his sister is a match, but that's only a 1 in 4 chance.) We're all hoping that out there, somewhere, is someone of Eastern European Jewish descent who's not only a match, but willing to take a few days of his/her life to give my dad a second chance.
The process of registering to become a donor is easy and can be done online. All it requires is sending in a swab of cells collected from the inside of your cheek using a kit provided by the Program. If it's ever determined that you are a match for someone, you will have the choice about whether or not to donate at that time. Unfortunately, it does cost $52 to cover the cost of the kit. But if there's any way you can afford it, I urge you to consider registering. I will be. You have the opportunity to directly save the life of someone's father, mother, child, or other loved one.
Posted by Katie Bonner at 11:59 AM