After partying way too late for several nights at Type-A Parent Conference, I was thrilled to sleep in my own bed last night. Four consecutive nights of very little sleep apparently don’t sit with me as well as they used to and I turned in shortly after LJ went to bed. I woke up this morning fresh, about as perky as I get, and ready to tackle the day with a big smile.
I turned on Good Morning America and started getting ready for the day. One of the stories caught my ear as they made a reference to Children’s Hospital in Wisconsin. I rewound the DVR and sat down to listen more closely. The story was about Jake, an adorable little boy whose bone marrow stopped working and needs to be replaced with a transplant.
The story showed footage of kindergartner Jake being examined at Children’s and suddenly images of our own time within those walls when LJ was in kindergarten came flooding back. We were so lucky to have had our story turn out with a positive result and my heart ached wanting the same for Jake’s family. Looking at Jake’s sweet face brought me to tears. The story continued with the details about what could be done to help, just one simple step.
Register as a bone marrow donor.
The reporter went on to say that people of Irish decent were especially encouraged to be tested as they might have the most chance of being a match. I decided then and there that I wanted to help somehow. Being Irish myself (with a name like Maureen Fitzgerald – who would have ever guessed right?) I will of course register and be tested asap, but I also want to help in the only other way I knew I could – help spread the word.
Many folks register to be organ donors (which you know is also a cause near and dear to my heart) but the great thing about bone marrow donation is that you don’t have to wait until you are gone to help. Yet, I suspect far fewer people register for bone marrow than put the little orange stickers on the driver’s licenses.
Be The Match runs drives all over the country that allow folks to quickly and easily register with the bone marrow donation registry. You can even do it from the comfort of your own home with a cheek swab. A quick search showed that a drive is being held in my area tomorrow. I plan to go and hope that, if you cannot make tomorrow’s drive, you will find one that fits your location and schedule and will register as well.
You could be the person who saves Jake’s life.
To find a live registration event near you, simply enter your zip code on the Be The Match Live Event page.