It's Stem Cell & Bone Marrow registration day. It only takes a minute and you might end up saving someone's life.
Years ago Lynn's best friend was dealing with an intense cancer and we went to a drive in Brewster to be swabbed and to be placed in the donor database.
A while later I was contacted saying I was a potential match for a woman with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.and was asked to submit to some blood testing. After several rounds of testing it was determined that I was a match. Without hesitation I choose the path of helping out. I ate right - lost weight and did all I could to make myself healthy enough to help. That process was amazing and before I knew it a harvest date was set at Dana Faber in Boston. For a week prior Lynn would be administering injection to boost my white blood cell count. Through the hot flashes and tough climbs up the stairs I was more than ready.
Here's a part of my post-process blog:
i am happy to report that my stem cell donation earlier in the week was on our end a great sucess. The process was both painful and purposeful.
The injections worked building my white blood cell count and processing a very high stem cell count. I'm told harvesting can't happen without at
least a 10 count and 50-100 is a very good count.....my count was 210...After 2 additional injections and some blood work the adventure began.
My wife could see the pain on my face and my motions throughout the actual harvest that lasted for 7 hours and 45 minutes...early on it appeared
that it may take two days to complete until a another vein provided the proper flow of blood.....my wife was facsinated by the blood cell seperator
machine that that draws blood in from one arm collects blood-forming cells, platelets and some white blood cells and seperates the stem cells and
what else is needed for the receipent....I was freaking out watching blood from one arm (strapped to prevent movement) being sent into the
machine and after being filtered and heated returning into my body via my opposite hand...Afterwards we were told the harvest total was enough
for three people so my reciepents chances were increased. Photos on-line and in print show people sitting next to the machine, here it's a bed process
with the best care in the world. Everyone at the Kraft Donor Center and Dana Faber are caring and professional. One of my guest experts was a
D-Y Grad and all were wonderful women. My emotions over the last 5 and a half weeks from the first phone call
to the completion of my donation range from fear and apprehension to satisfaction and now deep concern . I wish the best for her, her family
and her future. I believe it will all work out in a positive result and I hope that if you someday get the call you'll decide like I did to
respond. To not only help save someones life but to help preserve and better someones future. I'm glad I did.
Friends and strangers are calling me a hero and brave but to be honest all i did was help someone who needed it and i think thats just being
human. My journey can be somewhat expressed from a piece of lyric from Jim Steinman's Heaven Can Wait...."and i know that i've been released
but i don't know to where . and nobody's gonna tell me now and i don't really care . i got a taste of paradise."
Thank you Dana Faber, Jimmy Fund, Kraft Donor Center, Family (Mom & Dad for the DNA, Friends, My wonderful doctor/nurse Wife, Lynn
and to my recipient for giving my life adventure and purpose. All my best to you.
Side Notes: The people at Dana Faber & The Kraft Donor Center in Boston are the best !
Thanks to my wife for the injections and to the staff at DF for guiding me through the 7 Hour plus procedure....
Technical Footnote: Dana Faber Tells me the recipient needed 250 X 10 to the 6th and my donation was 1800 X 10 to the 6th.
Some called me a hero - I wasn't I was just a human coming to the aid of another human - something I hope everyone would do.
I was recognized by the Cape Cod American Red Cross and the Celtics Heroes Among Us but what was most important during the journey was knowing I tried to make a difference when someone needed my help/
BTW - The celtics experience was more frightening than any of what led up to that moment.
Now - go and register yourself so you can help too. ...