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.