The fiance of one of my long time friends got the call a few days ago that he was a match to be a bone marrow donor. He registered for the registry around 2004/2005 in California, didn’t hear anything, went to the Peace Corps in Africa until last year, and was contacted in October 2011 in Washington DC that he was match. Six years later, across the country.
He got a blood test recently to confirm the match.
They’re scheduling his donation for November now. They say he needs to do the hip-based donation versus the PBSC donation, which (I think) usually points to the idea that the recipient is younger, like an infant or toddler. The recipient has acute mylogenous leukemia (AML), the same leukemia that I had. The hip-based donation is the less comfortable of the two, but he’s willing to do it anyway, and even postpone a planned vacation to the UK in order to do so. That speaks to the character and empathy of Dennis.
I’ve asked him if I can be there with him throughout the process, and he’s very graciously accepted my request. I want to learn, I want to document, I want to share his story. I know what it’s like to live with cancer, but I don’t know what it’s like to donate bone marrow. I’ve wondered for a while now what I can do to make the donation process real to others, given my inexperience, and Dennis’ story will be that opportunity.
This will be a life-changing opportunity for him. Seriously life-changing.