PSA: You Can Be A Bone Marrow Donor

What a summer! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer… or what’s left of it! I just finished turning in two articles for Geekadelphia. One is on style tips for the 4th annual Philadelphia Geek Awards. I am doing my first ever giveaway and it isn’t even on my own site! Boo! Once the article posts, I will repost it here and do a little giveaway for my readers.

I do want to say thank you so much for everyone that takes the time out to read, talk to me, comment and be a part of my blog. I didn’t realize how much my little blog would grow in less than a year and I always say that I love my readers. You are more stylish than me, but you read anyway!

I am asked questions once in awhile so I added a FAQ section called ‘Stitches‘, because I am a lover of bad puns. I am also going to up my posting again to once a week and will be shooting Dorothee on Friday along with doing a few boutique reviews to switch things up. Dorothee is also natural, but uses heat, so I look forward to talking to her about how she avoids heat damage and her hair care routine.

Any who! This week’s blog is not about fashion, but about something I always wanted to do. My Dad says my blog is boring and not for guys (and he hates my septum piercing), but when I told him about registering to be a potential bone marrow donor he became interested. He remembered in 1995 when Rod Carew’s daughter, Michelle, battled Leukemia, and though 70,000 volunteers came forward, she unfortunately passed.

Mr. Carew asked for those with a similar heritage as his daughter to come forward. Even though donor donation has gone up for Black/African-Americans from the 5% in 1996, there still is a very large gap in donation and research is being done on why. Heritage is important when matching and with a more diverse group of volunteers helps save more lives.

Since my Dad and I fall between the 18 and 55 year old age perimeters of donation, I decided to be the first one to take the plunge and register. I signed up via Delete Blood Cancer. By signing up here (IT’S FREE!), you are on the National Registry.

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In about a week, I received my kit in the mail. My Dad asked me if I was worried about sending an organization my DNA. I reminded him that we were both in the military and the government has every form of our DNA. Plus, our bank robbing days are over.

documents

Inside the kit were a few envelopes to send back my swab with instructions as well as registration key cards and every other form of instructions. One of the reasons I never got around to donating was because I thought I had to go to a hospital to donate and I only use the VA. The kit came about a week after I registered.

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qtip swag

Swabbing was pretty easy and self explanatory. Eric thought it was a little too ‘in my mouth’ to show me swabbing, but you get the idea.

qtip in envelope

The biggest thing people forget to do is SEND BACK THE SWAB! I sent my back and received a confirmation letter saying I am now registered.

envelope

Being registered doesn’t mean you are now forced to donate. Life does change, but when you do donate, the donation is much easier than you might think.

Bone Marrow is taken from your pelvic bone (not your spine) with a special syringe and you are able to go back to normal activities in about a week. Stem Cells replenish within a week and you should feel better within two days.

If you are a match, you are contacted for further testing, so it is important to keep your contact information updated. With bone marrow use advancing in so many ways, including Sickle Cell Anemia, and with the relative ease of donating, please take the time to donate if you can.

Don’t leave me after this non-fashion entry! I will be back next week with clothes galore! Have a non-profit or cause you love! Talk about it in the comments, especially if they are here in Philadelphia!

 Photography by Eric S.

Comments

  1. Magda says:

    I’m glad you did this and posted about it! I’m also on the Delete Blood Cancer and Be the Match registries. It makes me happy to see others on there too as you can literally save somebody’s life if you’re a match.

    • Nena says:

      That is wonderful, Magda! And you are right, you can pick to be on Be The Match (http://bethematch.org) or Delete Blood Cancer and both lead to the national registry, so pick whichever one you like as long as you register!

  2. Great post! I never realized how easy it is…and you provided excellent info. I’ll look at signing up ASAP :) Also, love your fashion posts…I really appreciate the mix of stylish and frugal tips.

    • Nena says:

      Thanks so much for commenting and reading! I didn’t realize how easy it would be either, so I had to share!

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