Thursday, January 20, 2011

Could You Be A Match?

I don't usually talk about this sort of thing on the blog, but it's weighing heavy on my mind today and I wanted to make you aware of something I knew nothing about til a few months ago.

Today is a sad day.  A co-worker of mine has been fighting Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma for a while now and passed away.  He may have been the most charismatic guy in my office and used to occupy the office next to mine, so I got used to seeing and hearing him walk by all the time.  He was one of those louder than life personalities with a big smile and hearty handshake that never missed an opportunity to crack a joke.  He went through a lot of chemo and treatment for his cancer and even had a bone marrow transplant with marrow he received from a sibling.  After all of this he was actually doing fairly well the last time I saw him- cracking jokes, laughing, and being his typical goofball self.

The last time I saw him was in December at an all-employee meeting where he spoke to our entire office about something he had become passionate about through his experience: Bone Marrow Registry.  Even though he had received marrow through a sibling and hadn't needed to find a donor, he was made aware of how difficult it can be for some people who do not have a close match available to donate marrow.  He introduced us to an organization called Be The Match.  The process to join the registry is relatively simple.  You just fill out the forms and use four cotton swabs that you swab your cheek/gumline area with and then send the kit and forms back to Be The Match to be entered in their database of potential donors.  You could be a match for someone and might save their life.  For more information click here.  Be The Match also accepts donations if you do not wish to register to be a potential donor.

I don't know if I'll be a match for anyone or ever be contacted, but I feel piece of mind knowing that I might be and that I've given someone hope by registering.

My co-worker actually passed away not from the cancer itself, but from an infection that occurred as he was rebuilding his immune system from all the treatment.  This makes his death all the more sad because he basically made it through all of this difficult treatment only to catch something that his body wasn't strong enough to fight off in the end.  He leaves behind a wife and three children and was only in his 40s... 

He did a lot of good in his life, but perhaps one of the best things he did was introducing us all to Be The Match so that maybe one of us will save someone's life.  I would not have known about this organization if he hadn't spoken about it.

Disclaimer: I was not asked to write this post by Be The Match or anyone else, I just feel strongly about their cause and wanted to share the information.

15 comments:

Jaclyn @ Baking Charms said...

I am so sorry about your co-worker! Thank you for sharing his story and the information about Be The Match.

Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle said...

What a sad story :(

I'm very sorry for your loss.

And what a great cause!

thehealthyapron said...

Thanks for writing this post! It's a great reminder to count our blessings for being healthy but also to help those in need when we can!

Amber said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I have been volunteering for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for about 7 years now but I just recently signed up for Be The Match. It's a great organization! Thank you for your selfless act of joining to become a potential donor!

Whirly Wife said...

I am so sorry. It is so difficult watching people fight cancer and the possibility of being able help even a little means the world to the individual on the receiving end even if they never know your name. Organizations such as Locks of Love and Be The Match are amazing organizations. Thank you for sharing this story. My heart goes out to his family.

Alaina said...

I am so sorry to hear about your co-worker. He sounded like a great guys.

Thank you for the information on such a great cause. :-)

Joanna said...

I am sorry for your loss :(

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry, Brittney.

Kristina @ spabettie said...

thank you for talking about this, Brittney. this is a great organization and one that needs more coverage!

I'm sorry for the loss of a friend; my heart goes out to his family.

(( hugs )) to you!

Lauren Runs said...

Good for you for doing something potentially so scary. I signed up with the bone marrow registry last year and I hope that someone is able to have a better chance at living based on my help if I am a match.

Amy said...

So sorry for your loss. Your post was heartbreaking. Be The Match is a great organization. I've been on the national bone marrow registry for over 10 years now. It was a very simple process.

simplyshaka said...

Wow, thanks for being candid and sharing this. I'm sorry to hear about his loss and hope his family is doing as good as they can be at this time. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. They are coming out to my office to test for matches in Feb. What a gift if you are a match!
Alison

Runblondie26 said...

I'm so sorry to hear this story. My heart really breaks when I thinking about those kids he leaves behind. So Sad.

Allison @ Happy Tales said...

Gosh, my heart ache's for your co-worker and his family. Cancer (and other illnesses that leave the immune system comprised) are such tricky diseases. I'm so glad he shed light on the Be The Match registry for you and your company!!! Perhaps you'll be called upon one day?!? Thank you so much for linking to this today. It truly is a great organization...

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