Friday August 01st 2008, 8:20 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

Deb and Kate\'s socksLast fall, I was surprised at Stitches East by my friends Deb and her daughter Kate presenting me with this pair of lace socks that they had knit together, one doing the feet, the other the tops, so that the differing gauges wouldn’t matter.  They’re glorious socks in my favorite shade of maroon, and the three of us spent I don’t know how long together, laughing till we ached.  After years of exchanging emails with Deb, and then with Kate, it was such a treat to come together like that and to really hit it off like we’d been so sure we would. We did. And how.

Shortly thereafter they got hit with the first of the out-of-the-blue news.  The followup now is that Deb’s son and Kate’s brother Robbie is in need of a bone marrow donor for his leukemia, and he needs it like, now, and there is no good match in the registry yet.  Here is Robbie’s dad’s blog, a mix of work and their current situation.

I checked, and I’m not eligible to even try to sign up.  Given that I’m waiting for the trials at Stanford to progress so I can sign up of lupus patients’ receiving blood stem cell transplants from their adult siblings, this is hardly a surprise.

Kate and Deb came to BaltimoreHere is a list of FAQs on the bone marrow donations.  It can be a lot more gentle a process than it used to be: it is often done now like a simple blood donation.  Speaking of which, and speaking as a parent with a child also in need at times of platelet transfusions–Robbie needs them far more often, though–the supply in the blood banks is real low right now; if you donate platelets, the process takes longer, but you can do it more often than whole blood because they return the non-platelet parts back to you.

Picture yourself, ten years from now, twenty years from now, knowing that you’d saved a life.  Maybe even getting to see a little of what that person did with that life to thank you for the one gift higher than any other that one human being can give to another.

How many hours of your days can you spend that well?

11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m not eligible, either. Thyroid cancer. I hope a match can be found for him.

Comment by slimsdotter 08.01.08 @ 9:36 pm

Thank you for the post. I will keep them in my prayers that a match is found.

Comment by Amanda 08.02.08 @ 6:00 am

Oh, I do hope that they are able to find a donor. My son-in-law is on the registry. Because I struggle with anemia, I don’t believe I can donate. I will keep Robbie in my prayers.

Comment by Joansie 08.02.08 @ 6:55 am

Besides being pregnant, I assume I’ll get the same response I’ve gotten when I’ve tried to donate blood. I don’t weigh enough, and I had that one positive test for clotting issues. Even though I’ve never ever had another positive test and nobody thinks it’s actually a problem, without that second test within six weeks, nobody knows for sure. (And even having had one clot, or suspected clot in my case, is on their list of medical disqualifications.)

I really hope those who are able to donate do so.

Comment by amy 08.02.08 @ 7:10 am

I too am not ‘allowed’ to donate.
Being a foreigner and Mad Cows and all.

But, I *will* put Robbie on my list of personal honorees and train with Team in Training again to raise money to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Comment by Mari 08.02.08 @ 9:00 am

I am taken aback that my back issues eliminate me, and a hip replacement, the Knight. No wonder it’s hard to find matches; there sure are a lot of us unable to even consider it. (For good reason, but…)

Comment by Channon 08.02.08 @ 10:24 am

The socks are gorgeous, of course! Will pray for a donor.

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 08.02.08 @ 1:53 pm

I checked it out, but unfortunately I often get steroid injections for breathing problems and it looks like it eliminates me. I’m going to pass this on to my husband though…because he’s as healthy as a horse.

Comment by Momo Fali 08.02.08 @ 3:47 pm

My husband the professor doesn’t really offer much extra credit to his Genetics students. He says it’s an upper level college course; extra credit is for people who aren’t trying to get into med. school. He makes a couple of exceptions on occasion. One is that he gives extra credit to students who donate blood or who do the bone marrow registry. It’s a great way to give to others–and it’s so important for those Genetics students to take a step in that direction–towards caring about others in this elemental way.

Comment by Joanne 08.03.08 @ 12:47 pm

Good luck to both of your loved ones.

Donating platelets is not a difficult thing to do. I’ve been a doner for eight years now; every two weeks, I sit in a comfy recliner for a couple of hours watching a movie and getting treated like a queen. How many things can you do that are so good for both your ego and your soul?

Comment by Wunx~ 08.04.08 @ 7:59 pm

Alison, is there some place he has the HLA testing results up? I am a donor, and in the Caitlin Raymond Int’l Registry. I can send my HLA type to him. Massive longshot, but worth a try.

Comment by Laura 08.12.08 @ 7:48 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>