Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

Are you a registered bone marrow donor?

In catching up on the disease progress of Robbie Greenberger, the 20-year-old son of Bob Greenberger who died of leukemia last week, I discovered they had been hoping for a matching donor for a bone marrow transplant until pretty recently. This reminded me I should update my contact info with the National Marrow Donor Program, especially since my home phone number changed for the first time in ages several months ago.

My NMDP card shows I registered through the HLA Registry in 1991! That basically ensures that none of the contact info they'd have had for me was current. I may have updated it more recently, such as when a drive came through Ithaca in the last few years, but I wasn't sure. I filled out the update form on their web site.

I'd met Robbie at Shore Leave but never really spent any time with him. His father Bob, though, is someone I always made a point of saying hi to and chatting briefly with. This year I got to say hi, but he was in the middle of something.

I don't know how Bob and the rest of the family feel, but I do know that as someone who has a family member with leukemia, i appreciate when people are willing to donate blood and register for the bone marrow donor program, despite the inconveniences and potential discomfort.

If you're already registered, thank you! Please take a moment to make sure your contact info is current. If you're not registered yet, please consider it. Registration drives are often done alongside blood drives, so there's no need for a separate tissue typing step. In-person registration drives are often sponsored or subsidized, though sometimes there's a processing fee. You can also join the registry online and have a tissue typing cheek-swab kit sent to you for $52.

In the coming weeks, the NASCAR Foundation is holding its third-annual blood and marrow drive at dozens of participating racetracks, where you'll be able to register at no cost, and from September 7th-22nd, you'll be able to register online at no cost. (Yes, Watkins Glen International Racetrack is participating, with a drive on September 11th.)

Lots more info and ways to help:

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