Tag Archives: Bone Marrow

The Hub Says Sometimes I Can Take Recycling Too Far

25 Aug
Blood Donor Centre

I’d like to be sent off in a cardboard box.  A great big shoe box – white, so that people can scrawl messages on it: Best mother EVER; Can’t believe you were never recognised as the greatest writer who ever lived; Nagging will never feel the same again; We love you so much we can’t live without you; Won’t miss your cooking.  That sort of thing.  I’d like it to be colourful and messy and then the Hub should take photos of it so the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and their grandchildren (I plan on being around for a while yet) can take a bit of me home and know how much I was loved and admired and respected.   Um, better make it a real shoe box….

I mention this because I just read Novaheart’s blog about a friend’s send-off.  A Harley Davidson and big tvs – that’s what I call a celebration.  Like Novaheart’s friend, I also want to donate my body to science: it’s just a shell; I won’t need it.  The Hub hates the idea; he says the boys need something to bury.  I say well, for starters, you have to burn me because I don’t want to take up valuable floor space for one thing and I don’t want to be neglected floor space as they rightly get on with their lives for another.  However, he is adamant that I’m not going to be someone’s boring lecture (been that all my life as far as my kids are concerned), and he’ll be the one organising things (assuming he isn’t doing time for needing the organising in the first place) so I don’t have much choice. 

To be fair to him (ouch; that hurt), I don’t feel as strongly about it as he does, so I’m letting him have that one.  But they do have to whip out my bits and re-use them: that’s not negotiable.  I’ve been a kidney donor since I was eighteen – not an actual donor; on the list, I mean.  I’m a registered organ donor, a blood donor, part of a cancer study, and on the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.  I mention all this not to say how wonderful I am (though I am), but to direct you to read my post Save A Life: Spit In A Cup if you haven’t already, and to remind you to do something about it if you have and are eligible. 

People are dying, folks, for want of things you don’t/won’t need or can reasonably spare. 

  • Giving blood takes an hour (including travel) every four months, and you get to eat a biscuit without feeling guilty about breaking your diet.
  • The cancer study involves one blood sample every five years and a questionnaire.
  • There are organ donation forms all over the place and you can do it online these days; it doesn’t take long.
  • Joining the bone marrow register means just spitting: how difficult is that?  Okay, at some point you might have to have a needle in your bum, but isn’t it worth it to save a life?

Despite my passion for donating bodily fluids to complete strangers, I’m not in favour of an opt-out clause i.e. everybody’s a donor unless they tell the government they don’t want to be.  I prefer nagging (my future coffin refers).  So do something amazing today: listen to me.

 

 

 

Save A Life: Spit In A Cup

31 Jul

I am on the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.  They organise bone marrow transplants for people with leukemia and they have a new campaign, asking each potential donor (me) to recruit four new potential donors (you) over the next four months (then).  It’s called 4×4 – possibly the only time a 4×4 is believed to have saved the planet instead of killing it.

It couldn’t be easier to register: no blood samples, no visits to the doctor; just spit in one of these 

   and send it off.

There are over 400, 000 donors on the register but that’s not enough as only half of the patients waiting for a transplant are a match.  The campaign is trying to up the number of donors to a million.  The criteria for joining the register are as follows:

  • be 18 – 40
  • and reasonably healthy

It’s simple to join:

  • complete an online application form in 15 minutes
  • give a saliva sample – don’t worry, you don’t spit in an envelope; they’ll send you a small kit

The register is desperately in need of men (aren’t we all?) and people from ethnic minorities in particular, so come on, stop being a wuss and spit in a cup for your Auntie Tilly and a whole bunch of dying people who will be eternally grateful to you.

By the way, don’t think you can get out of it if you are not resident in the UK: many countries have their own register.  I hope at the very least you are blood donors and, hopefully, registered organ donors.

And if I still haven’t convinced you, think of the poor little boy who died and gave his name to the register; his mother worked tirelessly to set it up and the least we can do is spit in a cup for them. 

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And in other news

Biggest non-story of the year: The Sun announces that Joe McElderry is gay.  Tell us something we don’t know.   Better yet, tell us something we want to know, like when his album is coming out.

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