It all started when I signed up for the bone marrow drive at my office, something I've blogged about previously, only six months ago. Earlier this week I received an urgent e-mail from a representative with the bone marrow bank. I'm a match for a specific patient with leukemia. That night I talked to my parents about it. Almost right away I knew I was going to donate, if asked. When I signed up I asked what would happen if I changed my mind. The rep I spoke to at the time informed me that I could, however, it would be like getting someone's hopes up only to devastate them. As I said, this wasn't a decision I took lightly. I never would have signed up if I didn't intend to donate. The idea of saving someone's life is very humbling yet exciting. I've often spoken about my love for volunteering. This takes it to an entirely new level.
But as the process has become a reality and I've learned more about it, I'd be lying if I said I didn't still have reservations to overcome. And I intend to be honest about them here. For now, though, I first have to learn if I am a close enough match. So I am going for "confirmatory typing" on Monday. Having already faxed a multi-page health history questionnaire (very similar to one you might fill out if you were giving blood) I must go have some blood drawn so that the doctor may first test for infectious diseases and second determine if I am the best candidate to donate.
This is a slower process than I'd imagined. I might not be donating for a couple of months. It is all based on what the doctor deems best for the patient, their current health, etc. But first things first. A little blood donation never hurt anyone...
I will be updating periodically throughout this process and am happy to ask questions if anyone has any. Thank you all for your support. I am very excited (though a bit nervous) about this special undertaking.