Bone Marrow Donation

June 29 , 2007

Once upon a time

I flew back into town after a few days at the Miami office. I had been looking forward to attending the 9:20 open house swing dance party for the last month,  when my friend Arun called up and said that his Indian community was heading down to a bone marrow donation party. He said this person in his community only had 15 days to find a donor. I was with Francisco and Mark and told them the story. If it was your brother/sister/friend wouldn’t you want everyone that could help to pitch in? Mark being the awesome guy he is said, “Well I have to spend $10 on something it might as well be a good cause.” So we headed to Broadway.

440 Broadway

So we walk in and pay the $10 cover, there is a DJ booth. There were people in the front filling out applications to donate. Arun showed up and he told us about why he was helping out. He said that the best chance to find a donor for the guy was to find someone in their own ethnicity pool. Which totally makes sense. There is a huge need for bone marrow donations from the minorities. I wonder why? I know that once I told my mother that I was a organ donor she wasn’t thrilled. I think she remarked something about being buried in one piece was sacred. For me if I wasn’t around then there was no need to be a pack rat and save my eyes if wasn’t using it any more…someone else could use it. Right?

“The NMDP Registry includes more than 6 million volunteer adult donors and more than 50,000 cord blood units. Patients searching the NMDP Registry also have access to an additional 4 million volunteer donors through arrangements with international cooperative registries. However, some patients are unable to find a suitable match because their tissue traits are uncommon. Some tissue traits are more likely to be found among people of a particular racial or ethnic heritage. That is why a pressing need remains for more American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black and African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and multiple-race donors.” -From the website

What to do when you get tested to see if you can be a donor

Arun filled out the packet. I got named as a contact since I was standing there and we’re good friends. We all pitched in to help Arun. I held the bar code and Mark held the swab cardboard container as Arun followed the directions.

  • Swallow
  • Swabbed for about 10 seconds
  • Put bar code on the swab
  • Repeat for 3 more times
  • Close and seal to send off for testing
  • So what you can do to help

    Here’s a website to be registered in the national marrow donor list.


Wed Jul 4, 2007 at 05.58 pm


My best friend had massive doses of chemo for Hodgkins Disease, and I learned a lot about bone marrow transplant - you suck all the bone marrow out before chemo and then put it all back after.

This is a good post.


Tue Jul 10, 2007 at 08.27 pm


Cindy, up in Toronto its quite common for the media to pick up on matching bone morrow cases because we thankfully have a large mixed cultural background in the Toronto region. If things have not worked out for your friend in need I am wondering if they have looked into a Canadian bone marrow database. Good luck to your friend.


Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 03.06 am


This is a great article.

My aunt died of cancer and we were unable to find her a bone marrow donor.

Thanks for reaching out.


Constantly, trying to learn new things, and on the way I get to meet some amazing people with my camera by my side. XOXO!

on Flickr