Friday, July 29, 2016

Something different

I don't usually post anything too personal on this blog, but today I am going to make an exception. Today I am highlighting a website and subject that has impacted my family for the past 3 months.

There are some things we all hear about but don’t give much thought to until it affects our lives. We’ve all hear about stem cell donation (aka bone marrow transplant), and I’ve always equated them with pain and suffering. The way it’s presented on Grey's and other medical shows, it hurts like the dickens and I usually run for cover at the thought of giving blood. But my son was recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. It became evident that a stem cell transplant was needed to save his life.

So many family members and friends volunteered to be tested for a possible match, but only a sibling can be a direct donor. With 3 brothers, we were relieved (beyond words) that not only was one a match, but a perfect match at that!

After 3 rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer finally went into remission. My son was finally able to enjoy a taste of the summer he’s mostly missed. This weekend he will return to the hospital for the next (and hopefully final) phase of conquering this terrible disease.

I am not saying all this to garner your sympathy (though prayers would be greatly appreciated). But rather to post this link and help spread the word that stem cell donation is not the horrible experience everyone (including myself) thinks it is. It's not quite as easy as giving blood, but it’s just as painless. An IV goes in one arm to draw out the blood, it gets filtered through a machine that grabs the cells needed and, then the blood returns through an IV in your other arm. Ya, you might be tired for a day or so, but that's it.

Without a match, my son would have had to rely on volunteer donations. I can't help but think of people who don't have a sibling match--statistically, any sibling only has a 1 in 4 chance of matching. They are put on a list and have to wait. Sadly for some, time runs out. Yes these are strangers to us and a match could be clear across the globe, someone you’ve never met. But they are someone's spouse, parent, child, sibling, family member and friend.

Here is the website in Canada 
 If this interests you I encourage you to take a look and help save a life.

This video is just a taste of others on the site.

You have the power to give life, think about it.


  1. Margaret, I'm so sorry that your son and family have had to go through so much. As a mother I can only imagine what you were/are experiencing. Like you, the only information I had about stem cell/bone marrow transplant (which, I thought were different things until you mentioned in your post that they were the same thing) was through TV programs like Grey's, House etc. I had no idea it was a relatively simple procedure.

    I'm so happy that your son is on the road to recovery and that you were able to find a match! Thanks for the link for info to becoming a donor. I'm going to take a look.

  2. A beautiful and thought-provoking post. So glad to hear your son is recovering - I imagine the family bonds have been further strengthened by going throiugh this harrowing experience together. Hugs to all of you!

  3. thanks for sharing, positive thoughts sent to your son and all your family. Emma at FBT