Yesterday, got a very interesting email. BeTheMatch.org contacted me as a potential donor for a patient who might need a bone marrow transplant. In doing some additional research, I found out just how unlikely a potential match might be. The transplant itself is usually only considered after a physician has exhausted just about every other treatment option available for the patient. In essence, it may be another person's last chance.
The odds of a patient finding an exact match are pretty low - only about 1 in 20,000 - even with over 11 million people currently on the registry. The odds of becoming a donor once you join the registry are not that high. Only about 1 in 540. I'm in the first stages of finding out my compatibility as a potential donor. About 2.5% (1 out of 40) of the people on the registry will be contacted to undergo further testing.
Hopefully, as you guys follow me through the process, it will encourage others to get their bone marrow tested and added to the registry.
Just got the latest email, and moving on to step 2, which is filling out their health questionnaire. Here's a copy:
When you joined the Be The Match Registry®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, you did so knowing that one day you could be a donor for a patient. Out of a registry of millions, you were recently identified as a possible match for a searching patient. You might be the donor this patient is hoping for.
Now that you’re a possible match, we need to ask you some questions about your health to determine if you’re medically able to donate. Please click here to complete our online health questionnaire within two days from when this e-mail was sent.
We also want to help you understand what’s being asked of you and what to expect. Please click here to visit In the Know: A Donor’s Guide, an interactive website that will answer many questions about the search and donation process. We recommend you review the introduction and then select the Preliminary Search and Match and Donation sections from the course menu. After you’ve visited our website, if you have additional questions, please give me a call at 888-298-6375.
Thank you for helping us save lives!
So get registered! It's Painless and Free. Join The Bone Marrow Registry!
Here's an overview of the process and what you can expect: