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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

How Many Chances Will You Actually Have to Save a Life ?

How many chances will you have to actually save a life? An opportunity for you may be at hand. June 8 – 22 is the time period for free registration to be a potential donor for the bone marrow cells that may well be the only chance life for the hundreds of thousands of individuals in the United States who every day are battling blood cancers and other diseases. The matches really do happen; a recent news story describes one such match.

Perhaps you, like me, may have thought the need for bone marrow donations is an old problem that’s been solved by new science. Not so. In fact, the need for bone marrow donors actually is increasing rapidly !

Why? Two key reasons, among others.

First, the rates for lymphomas and leukemias are spiraling upwards to stunning annual numbers. Consider just one of those cancers – non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The rate used to be 55,000 cases per year in the United States, but now the rate is up to 66,000 new cases per year in just the United States.

As of 2008, about 575,000 people in the United States are living with NHL, and the victims may relapse at any time even after having achieved remission through treatment. Some persons will need more than one bone marrow transplant to come even close to a normal life span. For all the grim statistics, go to the website for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It has all the stunning numbers.

Second, there are today many inter-racial children, and many more will arrive in the future due to the huge growth in international adoptions that move children into a new continent where the odds are they will not marry another person from the same race. Finding marrow for children from inter-racial marriages is a rapidly growing challenge that will only get bigger due to globalization.

In short, leukemias, lymphomas and other diseases can be treated (sometimes cured) through bone marrow donations, so please register now while registration is free.

Two more things. Treating these diseases through chemotherapy requires significant amounts of blood transfusions to replace cells killed during chemotherapy, and therefore blood donations also are very important. Umbilical cord blood donations also are welcomed. So, please keep those donation paths in mind, including mentioning cord blood donations when grandchildren are arriving. And, donations for scientific research are always welcomed.

The online donation form is at the link below. All you have to do is fill out the forms and mail back in a swab you will be sent by mail.

Please take action now – time may well be short for the person whose life you really could save by donating bone marrow your body will easily replace !

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