Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Small Change Challenge #3 & #4

Well, crap. Last month’s challenge was to clean out your closets and donate stuff to charity. And I had every intention of doing that, but last month seriously went by in a flash and I have no idea where it went (well, I kind of do, wedding, PE exam, sewing). So, I promised to do it this month. And we did.

5 full garbage bags, plus one box. 4garbage bags and the box care of Clinton, one from me (actually one bag has both of our stuff in it.)

What? Clint has WAY more clothes than I do. And he continuously buys clothes and refuses to throw any away. We had a deal by which for each new clothing item he got, he owed me one – one for charity – one for the trash, whatever, I’m not picky. He’s been sneaking new shirts by me a lot lately, he thinks I don’t know, but I do. He tries to make sure he’s the one who does the laundry when he has a new shirt to hide, but then forgets that I will eventually do the laundry and once he wears a new shirt I will totally see it. So he’s been busted.

Anyway the bags are headed for the local Woman’s Shelter Shop, where they are sold and profits are used to help battered women.

This month’s challenge is to donate blood or join the bone marrow donor registry.

Giving blood is easy – I did it 2 or 3 times in high school, before they started rejecting me for having had a piercing within the past year. I haven’t done it since; it’s always been one thing or another, whether it was a piercing, or pregnancy. The local donation center is not open at the best times for me, but if they bring a donation van to work for a blood drive, as they occasionally do, I’ll make an appointment to donate. With AB+ blood, I have the worst blood type as far as donations are concerned. However, I’m the best victim since I can receive anyone’s blood. To give my blood away they have to find someone who is also AB+, and to add insult to injury, AB+ is a relatively rare blood type, so my blood donation is about as useful as a pair of weak glasses to a nearly blind man.

Moving on, when my uncle was diagnosed with leukemia, my mother went down to get tested to see if she was the right type for him. They said the best match is usually a sibling, but they also said the best match is usually a pre-pubescent sibling. Unfortunately, my mother was not a match. This means that the bone marrow transplants he’s had, have been from the registry. Someone he doesn’t know took the time to go down to the bone marrow transplant place, in some cases paid $52 or more (pays for testing and typing which is not always covered depending on where you go) to join a registry on the off chance they might be able to save some stranger’s life, and then when they were called – they didn’t make an excuse, they came in and underwent a painful procedure to donate, for a stranger.

Right now, you can join the registry for free without leaving the comfort of your cozy little nest on the couch. (Actually I suppose, you have to check the mail.) I just did it, it took less than 5 minutes to fill out the questionnaire, and they are sending me a kit to do cheek swabs. The drive is being sponsored, so that aforementioned $52 is being paid by someone else.

I’d like to encourage you to do it, but it’s not that easy a decision to make. I’m not going to encourage you to do it if you don’t see yourself being able to actually donate when and if the time comes. The registry is no good if the people on it won’t do it when called upon. When and if the time comes it is not easy or painless, but I don’t think leukemia is easy either. People have been interviewed post donation and they said “Yes, it hurt, but I would do it again, to help save someone’s life.” There are certain health issues, and age restrictions on donating, but the questionnaire will weed you out if you’re…uh… weedy. Here’s the link.

1 comment:

jeneflower said...

Great post. I have thought about joining the bone marrow registry, but have chickened out because I worry about what my life situation might be like at the time they need me. It is a poor excuse I guess. I thought I would start donating blood on a regular schedule- and I started to, but then the Red Cross started calling me twice a day, every day to donate and I started saying no to everyone because I just wanted them to go away. I wanted to go on my timeline- not because I felt pressured by a million phone calls.