This experience has made me look at life differently. I was asked by numerous people if my recipient or another patient needed stem cells or bone marrow, would I do it again. My response was and is, of course!
I became involved with Team in Training and the Leukemia&Lymphoma Society in January 2006 as a participant in their marathon training program. I was typed at a LLS event in April 2006 and found out I was a match in January 2007. When the donor specialist from the National Marrow Donor Program asked me my thoughts about donating my stem cells and/or bone marrow, I didn’t even allow her to finish her sentence and immediately said, YES! I asked if we could expedite the procedure ASAP because I understood what stem cells/bone marrow mean to a recipient.
I underwent physical examinations and various blood tests at Stanford Medical Center for a few weeks. At the end, I was given the green light to donate. I was given the drug, Neupogen(Filgrastim) for five days followed by the collection process on the fifth day. Neupogen is given via injections in the arm(at least that’s where I got them) and mobilizes stem cells. On March 5, 2007 I underwent a two day procedure to collect my stem cells. The only side effect I experienced was bone pain and headaches, which is nothing compared to what the patient experiences.
The recipient is a 54 year old East Indian woman with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and had her transplant a few days after I donated. She has responded to the donation and I’m praying she continues to do so. I don’t know her and that doesn’t matter, I’m at peace with knowing that she has a fighting chance.
This experience has made me look at life differently. I was asked by numerous people if my recipient or another patient needed stem cells or bone marrow, would I do it again. My response was and is, of course! It is a privilege to be able to help another human being and besides it is only blood.
I have continued my involvement with Team in Training/Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and run marathons(I know I am crazy!) with hopes of finding a cure for Leukemia and other blood disorders.
from the www.helpvinay.com website
Leave a Reply