Canadian One Match

May 27, 2008 jeansdream

I have been registered with the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry (UBMDR) program when a cute girl called Elizabeth (Lue) needed bone marrow and her brave mom called out to the Canadian community to come out and register, especially to the oriental ethnic background because Little Elizabeth was an oriental.  I am a sensitive person – in this case, I could faint from the blood drawn procedure because of the needle – actually the pain associated with the needle.  Back then, your blood sample would be needed.  I struggled but I did go and had my blood drawn at a temporary location.  Professional technician did this and I didn’t faint!  Little Elizabeth passed away the same year, 4 months after the bone marrow campaign started.  That was 1990.

After that, I had been contacted once for another blood drawn for another potential match.  They need more details (further antigen match).  It’s a winter snowy day.   I went again.  And my hubby (I really needed his support!!) had to run to a store nearby the clinic to get me a drink as I felt dizzy after the blood draw – again due to the pain and some blood loss (I thought they took 4 tubes and I used the lunch time to go to this clinic (meaning, I didn’t have lunch yet)).

May 2008, the Chinese community was once again touched by another girl, Carolyn, to go register with OneMatch (a stem cell and marrow network).  A young lady, may I say, and a pretty loving one too.  Her courageous Mom and Dr. Joseph Wong pleaded for more to go register. 

And I have 2 good news to share.

The first good news: for those who are pain-avoidance in nature:  this time, initial registry only need a mouth swab – you will be mailed a kid, with instructions, and I think they provide 4 pieces of mouth swabs, (like Q-tips, I imagine), then send the swabbed sticks in a return package.  Wa-la.  No more initial blood samples needed.

The second good news:  in old days, bone marrow donation always means you need to undergo a day surgery.  Now, only in specific cases, they will perform this.  In most other cases, including Carolyn’s case, only your blood will be needed (called a stimulated circulating blood stem cell donation).   No surgical procedure; no freeze (anaesthesia).

For those who are UBMDR-registered, your data is automatically accessible by OneMatch.  And if you have a new contact address / phone, please – important – provide an updated address / phone to OneMatch.

Know why I went every time?  Every time, I thought (and honestly, had to repeat to and reconvince myself) what a little pain, inconvenience could do; how far could that go, and the answer is: to save some one’s life.  Some one’s LIFE.  Think your own life. Some one’s life is just as valuable. If some one takes a little pain and be inconvenient a bit and that can save my life, and that person refuses to help… just flip the mirror. The smallest gift to the person and those around them who could be benefited.  Yes, “they build their happiness on top of your pain” – but I promise you – it’s all worth and you’ll be in the ninth heaven if this happens.  🙂

If you haven’t registered yet,  here’s what you can do:

1) Visit http://www.onematch.ca/

2) Read this page, (tells you about who OneMatch is, the donation process, expenses incurred during the donation etc) and proceed to take a knowledge test – OneMatch wants to see if you understand what they and you are about to do etc

3) Write this test; Yes/No questions. If you make mistakes in the test, you will be explained and will have the chance to correct them. Then you will be asked some questions about your ethnic / health background (Yes/No etc)

4) Provide your D.O.B and contact info, and they want an alternate contact

5) (and if your profile is ok) You will be mailed a mouth swab package.  Follow the instructions to take the sample and mail the sticks back.

Done.  You are registered.  Now you wait to see if you are a potential donor. 

You’ve done great.  Be proud of yourself!!!

Want to know more about Carolyn?  http://www.savecarolyn.com/

N.B. Be aware that there are age/health constraints as a potential bone marrow donor: e.g. you need to be in between the age of 17 and 60 to qualify or you must not be HIV-positive.

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Entry Filed under: Getting to know each other

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Russell Wagner  |  July 30, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Hello there, Jean,

    Thank you for the courage you have shown in helping others, even when there is the slightest chance you might be able to help.

    I found out about this extremely informative post of yours through ProjectMichelle.com.

    We have been promoting her plight at the top of our site for months now, but only today and through your writings, has it occurred to me that when we sign up for Michelle, we sign up for everybody, and the future of everyone.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • 2. jeansdream  |  August 9, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Hello Russell,

    thank you for sharing projectMichelle.com.

    Because of Carolyn, the drive is now being done by HK’s celebs.

    There is always hope and love. Don’t give up.

    Jean

  • 3. Carolyn, RIP « Jean&hellip  |  April 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    […] Bone Marrow, Carolyn Tam, one match, UBMDR Carolyn, rest in peace.  You have fought a brave battle.  Your life is finished but your work on earth […]


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