The answer to the question is that most people will and do. The help comes in many forms; meals for a family in the neighborhood going through a death or sickness, money in the church collection plate, helping an elderly neighbor with outdoor chores or project, giving a dollar or five to the homeless person on the street.
We would like to bring your focus on another way to help. The sick will always be with us, but their battle with disease does not need to be theirs alone. Each year the American Red Cross puts out “emergency need” of “critical shortages” in the blood supply and asks donors to please come in and donate. This simple act can reach as many as three other people with this one donation and might even be life-changing. You must wait at least eight weeks (56 days) between donations of whole blood (that would be six donations each year) and 16 weeks (112 days) between Power Red donations (that is three donations per year). Platelet donors may give every seven days up to 24 times per year. The problem is not enough of us participate and the NEED does not go away.
A second way to help is registering with Be the Match for a cancer patient in need. If you, or a friend you know, is between 18 and 44 years old the Be the Match National Bone Marrow registry is looking for you and them.
The registry looks for “matches” for cancer patients to help them in their fight with cancer. Seventy percent of all patients who need a transplant don’t have a fully matched donor in their family. A patient’s likelihood of finding a matching donor on the Be The Match Registry is estimated to range from 66-97%. The donor and cord blood registries can only continue to grow if people like you sign up to become a member of the registry or donate your baby’s umbilical cord blood. Because of you, more patients will be able to receive a life-saving transplant.
You can make a difference and turn the impossible into the achievable for a patient in need of a cure. You never know when you could be the cure.
This year our family has ridden the roller coaster of needing blood donations to help our son fight off infections during his cancer treatment and when his stem cell treatment failed, we have worked with Be the Match looking for help.
As of this writing it has not come yet. When our son began his fight with cancer, in his first posting on “CaringBridge,” he noted that there were 34 other patients on his hospital floor facing cancer too. That is one hospital floor; how many other cancer floors are there in St Louis, let alone across this country? How many patients are looking and hoping like we are? By adding to the registry we hope to improve helping others in need. Will you help?
You can scan the web to find blood donation sites in your area. You can also register online with Be the Match and they will send a kit for sample to get you going or again locate a drive in your area. Will you consider getting involved and helping? Please share with your family, neighbors and social contacts. Without you we are limited, with you we increase hope and possibilities.
The Blood drive is looking to collect 120-130 pints and Be the Match. We are hoping for 500+ new registry (online and those signing up on January 26 at the Brentwood Recreation Center.)
Our chances to match Chris or Lily are slim but there are so many others in need and hoping.
Thank You for taking the extra time and effort to help us with this.