My name is Pat, I am the one lucky enough to be Cami's daddy. How I got so lucky I will never know.
I am here to educate you a little about Bone Marrow Transplants (BMT's) so you can educate others.
After the past few weeks of talking to people since Cam's relapse.. I've noticed that almost every single person I talk to doesn't know the facts about BMT's.
In fact, the stuff they think they know is wrong, and prevents them from adding themselves to the national registry (if they even know there is a registry.. which most don't) I work with about 50 guys, I would guess that maybe 3 of them are on the BM registry, which is super poopy.
About 99% of the people I've talked to have the exact same mis-conceptions about the BMT process.. I'm going to call them "Myths".. and here they are.
Myth: All you need to be a donor is the same blood type as the patient.
Nope.. there are 10 markers in the DNA that need to match up perfectly in order to considered a match. In fact, you don't even have to have the same blood type at all!
Myth: You need to draw marrow to get added to the national registry.
Double nope. All you need to do is swab your cheek and send it in.. thats it!!! They can deliver a kit to your house.. it's so easy. And if you're LUCKY.. one day you'll get that special call asking you to save a life.
Myth: Pieces of Bone Are Removed.
Marrow donors only give up liquid marrow, taken from the pelvic bone or through PBSC donation where your blood is removed via an IV and passed through a machine that seperates the blood forming cells. No bones or pieces of bone are removed.
Myth: Donating Is Painful
In the roughly 25 percent of cases in which surgery is required, the procedure is done in the hospital under general anesthesia. The patient is unconscious and feels no pain as doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the pelvic bone. Patients generally go home the same day and are back to their usual routines within a few days with only a small amount of discomfort.
Myth: Donation Is Bad for the Donor's Health
Every medical procedure involves some risk, and bone marrow donation is no exception. But no more than five percent of the donor's marrow is harvested - not enough to cause any problems. The cells replace themselves in four to six weeks. You take risks every day driving to work or whatever.. the chance to save a life is worth the risk, in my humble opinion.
Myth: Donating Is Expensive
Donors don't pay to donate. The patients insurance or the National Marrow Donor Program takes care of the donor's travel costs - and reimburses other costs on a case-by-case basis.
Myth: The Need for Donors Is Declining
Each year, more than 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with life-threatening conditions like leukemia or lymphoma. For many of these patients, the only hope of a cure is a transplant from a donor. The need for donors is increasing - especially those from racially and ethnically diverse communities, according to the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. Most patients who need a marrow transplant do not have a matching donor in the family. These patients depend on unrelated donors.
Caden, Cami's brother, isn't a match for Cami and after checking the registry, my daughter has ONE perfect match -ONE and we still don't even know if he's going to do it.
Maybe if all these myth's weren't out there more people would be in the registry and we wouldn't be relying on this one guy to save my Cami's life.
Please come to our bone marrow drive and swab your cheek. If you can't be there.. go to bethematch.org and order your free kit. You can always say no later. Just get into that registry! I can't imagine how awesome it would be to save a life... TO SAVE A CHILD'S LIFE!
There will be a bone marrow drive at Cami's fundraiser this Saturday (September 7th) where you can come in and swab your cheek and get into the system. It's fast, its free and it means the world to us!
The amazing Shauna Lake and Channel 2 are doing a story about Cami and this drive Thursday night (the 5th) at 10 PM! Tune in and check it out!
Love you all, thank you for everything,
PS- watch this touching commercial, it just hits so close to home!