Make A Difference Monday: Be The Match

A month or two ago, I decided that I would try and do a good deed every day. I wanted to focus outside of my daily routine and really look for ways to make a difference in my community, even in small ways. Some days this is easier than others. Some days, I really have to force myself to be less selfish, which is hard, because I am a brat at heart. I think most of us are.

One of the first things I did as part of this agreement with myself was to enroll in the Be The Match program. Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, and is the largest marrow registry in the world. For the people who are diagnosed with blood cancers, sometimes this is their last hope for help. My family has been involved with marrow donation because of my mom, and I’m certain that many of you know or know of someone who has dealt with leukemia, lymphoma or the like, and you know how important it is in treatment.

Signing up for this is one of the easiest things you can do. It takes about 15 minutes of time to go through the questionnaire, even with the extra time I spent looking at the FAQ trying to figure out if I am eligible (tattoos, I have a cold, I am  whiny). A week or two after you finish enrolling online, they send you a kit with some cotton swabs and instructions. I felt very CSI, swabbing the inside of my mouth, and then I mailed it off and that was that. Once they type you, you’re in the system and that’s that. You may never get called to donate. You may get called upon in twenty years or two weeks. You may be the last hope for someone’s life. That’s such an incredible help to so many people. About 1 in 540 people go on to actually donate. It’s like the most do-gooding lottery ever.

There is a ton of really helpful information here and you can read success stories, FAQs, and sign up all in one place. Honestly, twenty minutes out of your life to help save another is one of the easiest choices you can make, and that is definitely something to feel good about.

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