May 14, 2008

Last Saturday was my birthday, and I spent a fair bit of the day at a blood donation drive, talking to people about registering as bone marrow donors. Every time I speak to people at events I come away with a new revelation, because each event is different, and therefore the types and mindsets of the people there are different as well.

Because most of the people there were already blood donors, there was little resistance to the idea of trading some time and a little discomfort for something that could extend someone else's life. However, there was a lot of curiosity about the process of donating, and some speculation about what it would be like to get The Call—when you're told you're a potential match for someone, and asked to proceed with further testing.

Obviously I can't speak from direct experience as a donor (and I'm hoping that someday I'll be able to speak from direct experience as a recipient), but many other people have. Here are five stories from the perspective of donors, some of whom are part of that small group of people called on to donate more than once.

Technical sergeant in business of saving a life ... twice
"In this case the recipient was well for three years, and now she needs me again," Sergeant Navarro said. "So I'll donate again and again and again, and however many times they need me to help prolong her life."

Bone-marrow donation saves life
"I wouldn't think twice about doing it again."

Henrietta Leukemia Survivor Will Meet Her 'Angel on Earth'
"We had lost my father to cancer and during that two-year battle I realized I'd have done anything to help save him," says Scott-Burnside, 31. "Knowing that someone else could be saved with my bone marrow, I had to do it."

Bob's Donations
I call Cindy for the Nth time. She's gotta be getting tired of this. But this time she has the results. 6 out of 6. A perfect match. I get asked if I want to do this. "Yes!" is the immediate answer.

Williamstown resident twice a donor
"Looking back over the past 12 years, I have the feeling that I have been the lucky one for being able to donate twice and witness the devotion of some of the people in the medical world," Michael said.

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posted by Emru Townsend at

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