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Our beloved Christine is in the US battling cancer, and urgently needs to find a bone marrow donor. 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. Some hospitals charge a small fee for this blood test, however the fee is routinely waived for minorities, and often for Caucasians as well, especially if you are willing to donate a pint of blood.
You can reassure your friends that signing up for the registry does not require donating any bone marrow. If it turns out they are a match, they will be contacted, and can make the decision at that point about becoming a donor.
There are lots of misconceptions about donating bone marrow. The procedure is considered minor, simple and safe. You will be anesthetized the whole time, and you will not feel anything. When the procedure is over, you may have some soreness in the area for a day or two and you may feel a little tired. That’s it. The bone marrow you donate is replenished within 3-4 weeks. You will only undergo this procedure if your blood sample shows that you are a match and you decide to donate, in which case the slight soreness you’ll be feeling will be saving someone’s life.
All medical expenses for the donor will be covered by Christine’s insurance.