I know that I have been MIA for a really long time and I promise a huge update one of these days but FIRST I wanted to let you all know about something that all of a sudden is really important to me.
Getting listed on the bone marrow donor registry was one of the first things I put on my new 101 in 1001 goal list. In order to cover the cost of the tissue-typing kit getting registered usually costs about 50 dollars BUT if you decide to join between now and September 22nd it will cost you nothing! The NASCAR Foundation is sponsoring a huge bone marrow donor drive. I know that most of us are not about to get to a track anytime soon so I wanted to show you how you can participate virtually. All you need to do is follow the link I will provide and fill out the required information on the National Marrow Donor Program website. It should take no more than 10-15 minutes to get through the health history questions and contact information. They will send you a kit, you swab your cheek a couple of times and send it back with the hope that one day you will match someone in need.
Keep in mind that registering to be a donor is a real commitment. I have seen one of the ways they get to that all important bone marrow and trust me, it did not look like fun! Despite that, I realize how important it is to donate what I can and how, in the grand scheme of things, how little a few days with sore hips will inconvenience my life. If you do decide to sign up PLEASE understand what you are saying you are willing to do. For someone to be told that there is a potential match out in the world only to find out you aren't actually willing to go through with the donation process would be devastating.
The link below not only will let you start registering free of charge but will give you all the information you need on the registry itself and the process of actually being a bone marrow donor. Feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer with what I know. http://www.marrow.org/HELP/Join_the_Donor_Registry/Join_Now_Sponsored/join_now_sponsored.html
Make sure you follow that link, or find the NASCAR Foundation link on bottom right side of the homepage (www.marrow.org) to receive the promotion code. The code that was used when I registered was "NASC262101" so if you still can't get the code to automatically pop up try that. :) On the last page it will have a spot for credit card information but if your total cost is $0 you do NOT need to enter that info, it will let you advance without it. Keep clicking "next" or whatever it says until you get to the final page which will give you your NMDP ID.
If this is not your thing that is ok, I totally get it, but please pass along the information to someone you think would be willing to join. The NMDP could really use mixed race donors and young men are generally the ideal choice but ANYONE who gets put on the registry could potentially be called upon to donate. We hope that Jackson will never need a bone marrow transplant but if he does it is a stranger who volunteers to be on this list that will be the most important part of saving his life. Pass it on!