To Read Tami's Story from the Beginning

Just CLICK HERE. Her blog begins on March 12, 2009 with a post titled "Tami's Myelodysplasia Diagnosis." Then at the bottom of each post, click on the words "Newer Post" located just below the comments section on each page.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Being a Potential Marrow Donor

Hi Everyone,

This is Wendy, one of Tami's 2 official bloggers.

As you may have read in a previous blog post, I've been a member of the marrow registry for many years now. I'm an avid viewer of the soap opera Days of Our Lives and they had a story line about a girl that was in need of a marrow donation. She was suffering from Leukemia. At the end of each episode an announcement was made about the need for marrow donors. I also knew someone personally that had donated marrow for a stranger so I decided to become a member of the registry myself. I know it's an odd way of becoming a member but that's how it went. :)

I've been called three times so far as a possible donor. I have friends that have been on the registry longer than I have and have never been called. I guess I've just been lucky to be such a close match to three patients in need of marrow. I've been so excited every time I was called.

My first experience, I was called but I was not the closest possible match. I admit I was disappointed but I was also happy that there were other donors more closely matched to the patient than I was.

The second time, I came very close to donating stem cells. I was the best match for the patient and things started moving very rapidly. The patient was in dire need of a transplant. It is such an amazing and odd feeling to know that you match another person perfectly as if you were siblings yet you are total strangers. I went through all the testing and was set to receive the injections that would help my body produce extra stem cells . I got a call before receiving my first injection that the patient had come out of remission and could not receive the donation. I was told I would be called in the future if the patient needed me but I haven't heard anything and it has been four years now. I think about the patient a lot and wonder what happened.

I recently matched a third patient. I was really hoping the third time was the charm. I received a letter in the mail that said I wasn't the best match for the patient. However, I'm still a possible donor for the patient. If the perfect match is unable or unwilling to donate, I will be called. I sincerely hope that the patient receives their donation from the best match but I'm here and willing to donate if they need me.

I've been lucky to be called upon three times. One of these days I will actually be able to donate. I know it!!

Posted by Wendy. Learn more about her in this blog post.

1 comment:

  1. Wendy I think it's great that you've been a preliminary match so many times and even though the second patient became too sick to receive your stem cells, you are so awesome for being there willing to give.

    I'm sure on some level it's disappointing to make it so far through the confirmative testing only to be told someone else is a better match then you, but thank goodness for that. I know the better the match the less likely the patient will have to deal with Graft vs. Host Disease after their transplant procedure.

    *Hugs* to you on being so eager and willing to donate. Just the other day I read the story of another patient in need who has had 4 matches found for him: 2 potential donors were not willing to donate when they were contacted and the other 2 were willing to donate but were deemed ineligible due to a health related reason. So his search continues.

    Please everyone, if you aren't already in the registry please join. If you are already in the registry please help us to spread the word about the need. Encourage people you know, family, friends, colleagues etc. to join. Knowing that your efforts might have just saved a life? You will feel amazing each time someone says "Yes" they'll get registered. You can direct them to a local donor program or to Helping or to the Asian American Donor Program at or the National Marrow Donor Program at to order a mail-in home test kit.