a little east of reality

Saturday, February 11, 2006

a chance to save a life - spread the word!

I'm linking this post from a blog called StudioGlyphic. I actually read it over at Wil Wheaton's blog. I'm glad he posted it, because his is such a high traffic blog that it will reach lots of people. Mine will reach fewer, but every little bit helps, hey?

Christine Pechera needs a bone marrow transplant. Her family has already lost her brother to this kind of cancer and are battling not to lose her as well. Her sister also had cancer, but survived and is in remission.
Unfortunately, finding a perfect match for her bone marrow type is particularly difficult. This is hard enough for the average person; there are over 20,000 types of bone marrow, so the average person has a 1 in 20,000 chance of finding a match. These numbers are even worse for Christine. Because she is Filipino, she needs to find a donor of the same ethnic background, and there are hardly any Filipinos on the US National Registry. Right now is our best chance of having the bone marrow transplant work. Each day's delay decreases her chances of surviving. Please contact your Filipino friends or relatives in the US, and ask them to contact their friends. Anyone you know who is all or part Filipino and between the ages of 18 and 61 is a potential donor. The system is nationwide, so it doesn't matter where they live. Signing up on the registry is easy and painless. All it requires is a simple blood test.
This is a rare opportunity to really help some and many even save their life, and I would love nothing better than to see it spread through the blogosphere like wildfire. It might even save more lives than one, if it raises awareness and increases the number of people who are on the National Register of potential bone marrow donors. This is something I have never really thought about before, but I plan to find out if there is a similar register in Australia and arrange to have the blood test (you don't need to give marrow to be registered ~ that only becomes a decision to make if and when you are identified as a match for someone needing a transplant).

Although I really didn't doubt the story, I wanted to double-check things before posting (I'm sure a lot of you have received one of those terrible chain letters that asks you to forward it on in order to help a non-existent child to live). This is very much real. It's even been posted over at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society BBS by a man whose wife was in hospital with Christine, which is great because that is certainly a group that will spread the word. Also, there is more information about Christine and her history here. Christine herself was a match for her brother's bone marrow and acted as donor for him when he was just 12 years old and she was 18, but sadly he later died and cannot return the favour. Let's hope Christine's own story has a happier ending.