[Note: I wrote this post at the end of December and with the holidays and going out of the country, I never published it. But, this is something important to me, so I am sharing it now.]
Natalie never made it to the point of being healthy enough for a bone marrow transplant.
I’d like to think that if she had, there would have been a match waiting for her.
Because, not all blood cancer patients who require a bone marrow transplant for treatment have a family match. This means they need a donor — someone who is not related to them who happens to be a match.
Somewhere in between working in health care field for four years and the impact Natalie has had on my life, I’ve known I wanted to join the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. It’s “just a cheek swab” to join the registry. If you’re matched with a patient in need, then, well, it’s a little more than that.
“Doesn’t it hurt?” people have asked upon learning I finally joined the registry.
Yes, drawing liquid marrow out of the back of your pelvic bone with a needle doesn’t sound fun. But, it could save someone’s life.
Natalie was 17 years old when she passed away. My friends and I were 17 mourning the death of our dear friend. Kids shouldn’t have to mourn the death of their friends. At 17, we were all still just kids.
So, I’m just doing all that I can do, while I can, to help others who need it.
I know that Natalie would do the same.