A Second Chance At Life


I didn’t know about bone marrow, until I needed it last year to stay alive.

Celebrating your eighteenth birthday is a big milestone. You can vote. You can join the military. You could also join the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry and possibly give someone a second chance at life.

With just a few minutes and a cotton swab on the inside of your cheek, you could be a hero. You could save a life.

November is National Bone Marrow Awareness Month. If you didn’t know that, you aren’t alone. I didn’t give it a second thought… until I found myself waiting for a bone marrow transplant last year. I was lucky, though. My mother turned out to be a near-perfect match for me and she was my donor. Every year there are thousands of people diagnosed with blood cancers or other conditions for which a bone marrow transplant is their only hope of survival.

In the course of my treatment, I learned a lot about bone marrow. I learned that finding a match is ethnicity dependent; meaning you are most likely to find a match with someone of your own ethnic background. I also learned that minority groups are grossly underrepresented in the donor registry.

That got me thinking about the Wakefield student body.

We are an incredibly diverse community of bright and motivated people. We could make a huge difference if every eligible high school senior and staff member joined the bone marrow donor registry. To be considered eligible, you have to be at least 18 years old and in good general health.

If you aren’t able to join the registry, you can still get involved in the effort to find a cure. You can be one of the thousands of walkers and runners who participate in fund raising runs across the country. You could contact Be the Match to find out ways to volunteer your time. More than six people every hour die from a blood cancer. These cancers can be cured with a bone marrow transplant. Every effort is valuable in the fight to find a cure. Step up, get swabbed, and join the national bone marrow registry. Join the fight for a cure for blood cancers.

For more information on joining the registry or volunteering your time, go online and check out BetheMatch.org.