April 1, 2008
If you've been wondering where I've been for the last three months, then you missed a little something added to Kino Kid's 2007 charity auction report: right around the time I was writing the cheque for the money we raised for The Cancer Research Society, I was diagnosed with leukemia, along with a complicating condition called monosomy 7.
The monosomy 7 is complicating because so long as I have it, I'm always at risk of the leukemia returning, no matter how successful chemotherapy is. The solution is a bone marrow stem cell transplant, which is why I'm posting this now. The best chance I had for a compatible donor was from a sibling, and it turns out that Kino Kid is not a match for me. So now I have to look for an unrelated donor.
We've all heard of blood banks and organ banks, but it turns out there are also bone marrow banks. Actually, not really banks, but registries of individuals' HLA (human leukocyte antigen) information, which are used to determine bone marrow compatibility. In the same way that people volunteer to donate blood, people can volunteer to join a bone marrow registry. Depending on where you are, all that's required is a cheek swab or a blood sample.
What I'm asking of every Frames Per Second reader is twofold: (1) join your local bone marrow registry, and (2) tell everyone you know to do the same. This will not only help me, but the thousands of people who need transplants to save their lives. The marrow registries around the world are linked, so it doesn't matter where you are.
I've started a website called Heal Emru that contains much more information, and I urge you to visit it, read it, and pass the information along. Registering is easy, quick, and potentially life-saving for someone you know, or a total stranger. Our annual charity auctions have shown that Frames Per Second readers are a generous bunch, so I have no doubt you'll help me in this effort. I thank you, my family thanks you, and everyone else waiting for a donor, along with their families, thank you for any help you can give.