I don’t understand the disease and, frankly, it’s not a priority for me to do that.
What is a priority is that Tamir would get better and that this was a cause that is important, so when he asked for a donation, I figured, why not? Just $18, you know. No biggie, but enough to say that I cared.
He wrote me a nice note and then made a plea that the NFO and I register to be bone marrow donors.
And that is what I am asking you to do as well.
In order to register, all you have to do is go to www.marrow.org register as a donor.
They will then send you a kit with a cheek swab, which is like a long ear bud. You swab your cheek, put the swab into a small container, and send it back to marrow.org and you're done. You've registered. If you're ever identified as a potential donor for someone, you will be contacted and asked whether you are willing to donate. If you do, the patients' insurance will cover your costs, and you can typically have the blood work done at your local hospital or the closest one that has an aperesis machine that does the centrifuge.
It’s NOT a BIG DEAL. Here’s why:
The problem is that not many people are registering because they believe that it's complicated to register, and because they're scared of the pain involved in donating bone marrow - ie. being drilled a few times in the hips, back, etc. to get to the stem cells in our bone marrow. While this system is still used in about 10% of cases (still under anasthesia), the other 90% now use a much easier system for the donor.
This takes approximately 4 hours, and the donor is done, and has just potentially saved someone's life. Imagine what that must feel like - to be able to save someone's life like that - what a Mitzvah!
So, just do it: go to www.marrow.org and click donate.