To All My Readers:
Matt and I recently learned that our friend Beverly Gibbons has leukemia and is in immediate need of a bone marrow transplant. Without the transplant, she will most likely not survive. As of yet, they have been unable to locate a donor match for her. Beverly is 33 and is married with two young sons.
Matt and I are getting tested to see if we are able to be donors. We are asking you if you would consider joining us and being tested as well. If you are between the ages of 18-60 and are in general good health, you can apply. The test is simple: 4 swabs of the inside of your cheek with a q-tip. The testing usually costs $52, but between now and September 22, NASCAR is sponsering a nationwide bone marrow drive and will cover the cost of testing.
By signing up, you are entered into a national bone marrow registry. Even if you are not a match for Beverly, you could be a match for another person who needs a transplant to survive. Approximately 11,000 lives are saved each year in the U.S. through this registry. Once in the registry, you are never required to donate, though if you are identified as a possible match, you have the option to donate.
If you are a match, the patient's insurance will cover the complete cost of your donation, including travel if necessary. The procedure is simple, requiring only an overnight hospital stay. If you are concerned about the pain as I was, I have been reassured that you are anesthetized for the procedure, and the pain is minimal. For more information, visit www.marrow.org.
Should you decide to register, visit www.marrow.org. In the bottom, right-hand corner of the page, follow the link for the NASCAR Foundation Drive. Registering through the NASCAR page covers all the cost for you. You will complete a few pages of questions to determine your eligibility. If you are approved, the registry will send you your test kit.
Thank you so much for being willing to consider this. Who knows...maybe you will be the one who matches Beverly! What a priceless opportunity! If you decide to get tested, please comment and let me know.