It is a scourge.
There’s no way around it.
Every diagnosis I hear, and I seem to be hearing a lot these days, is the same. The sorrow, the anger. The hand-wringing.
The silent scream, “WHY?”
And the question, “What can I do?”
We daven and we love and we listen. We might cook a few meals, or make a donation.
But when the friend, the family member, the stranger needs a bone marrow transplant — then we must spring into action.
While few of us are oncologists, all of us can stand ready to fight cancer.
We can become warriors by joining the world-wide registry of people willing to give the gift of life through a bone marrow transplant.
You’ve heard this message before. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.
And yet today, I’m saying it again. Because there is a four year-old girl named Jayden, who lives in Montreal and needs a transplant to save her life.
Jayden has MDS (myelodyplastic syndrome), which is a pre-leukemia disease so rare that the Montreal Children’s Hospital where she lives has never treated it before.
MDS will likely progress into AML (Acute Myelogenos Leukemia) — at which point Jayden will need a bone marrow transplant to survive.
Her family is searching for a donor. Her two brothers were tested; neither was a match.
Wherever you live — in Canada or Kathmandu — it takes 30 seconds to be swabbed and another 90 seconds to fill out some paperwork.
If you are a match — for Jayden or anyone else, ever — you will be contacted. A follow-up blood test will confirm the match before the donation can be made. You can learn more about the procedure on the Gift of Life website.
Drives are being organized across Canada and the United States to find a donor for Jayden. You can read out about them HERE.
If you don’t live in any of those communities, you can organize a drive in your town — or find one near you. Or you can register online as a donor (and be contacted for further information about how to submit your cheek swab sample).
For Jayden. For Sam. And for all the others – children and adults; loved ones and strangers. Please get swabbed.