Baseball fans are still patiently waiting for the first big signing to signify the beginning of the free agent frenzy. Fanposts are almost completely dedicated to reviewing our past year or making predictions about the upcoming year. However, one of the many fanposts stands out. Durga2112 wrote a great piece about movember and it was great to see the support you guys gave for a great cause. It is refreshing to see a more personal side of people and it happens quite often on BBB. I wanted to continue with the idea of charity and would love to talk about what you can personally do to help out. It is as simple as joining the bone marrow registry.
For those who are not aware of the registry, here is a link to the onematch.ca. The website can explain the necessity of joining the registry a lot better than I can. It is essential because certain diseases leave people without the ability to manufacture necessary components of their blood, including white blood cells. As you may know, white blood cells make up you immune system and with a low white blood cell count, a normally harmless infection can cause serious issues. Bone marrow is found within your bones and produces stem cells, which can late make up these necessary white blood cells, or other components of your blood (kind of important).
In Canada, there are many affected families, and many more registered donors. However, the current amount of donors is not enough, and an affected individual only has a 30% chance of finding an acceptable donor, in what has become and life or death situation.
To donate, all you need to do is sign up on the website. Canadian Blood services will send you a home swabbing kit, that takes about 15 minutes to complete. All you need to do is fill out a information survey and swab the inside of your cheeks, in four locations, for a couple of minutes each. You simply send back the kit, and within a few weeks, you will get a letter, thanking you.
To be eligible to join the registry, you need to be at least 17 and younger than 61 (any older and you need to be approved by a physician), at least 110 pounds, and in generally good health. If you have any more specific questions, they have a questionnaire on the website.
After successfully registering, all you need to do is wait. There are many people looking for a donor, but the donor usually has to be an exact match. I have been on the registry for about a year, and am still waiting. However, when you get the call, it is definitely worth the wait.
Back in May, I recieved a call from the Canadian Blood Services. They called on Friday, and when I got the message, their offices had already closed. I had to wait three days, anxiously might I add, to realize, on Monday, that I had not filled in my height on the questionnaire. I am terrified of needles and blood, so the idea of the extraction of bone marrow was frightening, but when I recieved the call, all I felt was elation.
If you have any more questions, about how you can donate or what the donation process is like, just ask in the comment section. I've been a volunteer for a Bone Marrow Registry foundation for years, and it has always been my cause to pester my friends into registering. You guys, collectively, are pretty good friends, so why not ask?
If you want, spread the message. It really does not take much time, and every person that joins, is a person that spreads a message of hope.
P.S. If you have an organization that you support, post a fanpost. We have a couple of days/weeks before free agency really heats up, so lets take the time to help out the world.