Monday, May 5, 2008

Give a little marrow for Mom

It's time for another Hallmark holiday! Mother's Day is Sunday, May 11, and who are begrudge our mothers a little "thanks for raising me and helping me become so awesome"we to recognition?

What do moms do best? They help. When you scrape a knee, she provided a band-aid and a kiss. When your high school band got its first gig, she lent you the family van. When you weren't sure what to wear to your first job interview, she took you shopping.

Now's your chance to help someone else - in the same spirit that your mom helped you. May 5 through 19 is the National Marrow Donor Program's "Thanks Mom" campaign. What if, instead of getting your Mom flowers or treating her to a spa day, you get screened for a bone marrow donation? On any given day, the doctors of more than 6,000 children and adults are searching the NMDP Registry for a life-saving donor.

During the "Thanks Mom" campaign, the first 10,000 people who register online will receive a free swab kit in the mail that will enable them to join the registry. It normally costs $52 to get swabbed - a cost many of us might not be willing to incur. I was inspired to register after hearing Erica's story about her battle with leukemia. It reminded me that funny people, pretty people, mean people, people with brothers and sisters, people with friends - any of them - could be in need of bone marrow, and their chances of finding a match increase with every person who joins the registry.

And, contrary to popular belief, the donation process is no longer painful. Seriously. It's just a week long, outpatient procedure.

I'll admit - it was a little disconcerting to put personal health information online, but it's a secure site, and there's really not much to the form (No, I don't have Hepatitis. Yes, I consider myself in general good health, etc). I didn't input a credit card number as the kit is supposed to be free of cost - I'll update this entry to let you know if that was the correct thing to do.

If you don't feel comfortable registering, perhaps you could give some money to the foundation to help out.

What are you waiting for? Thank you Mom by actually DOING something - helping others, like she helped you.

Related posts: Getting Cheeky - Erica's Story and Why You Should Get Swabbed

Photo of the boy with a bandaid courtesy of Ed in Ohio.
Photo of Erica courtesy of her friends.

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