Donors share their experiences to educate others

Posted September 7th, 2011 by Be The Match and filed in Donor Stories, News
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It’s important for potential donors to fully understand the donation process so they can make an informed decision about moving forward. Hearing from someone who has gone through the process can be a big help. Every donor’s experience is a little bit different, and every donor has a story to tell.

We turned to donors for input as we revised our donor guide, You’re a Match:

  • In four cities, we held two focus groups, one of donors and one of potential donors who’d gone in for additional testing but were not called to donate. The focus group participants provided feedback on our existing educational materials and shared their experiences working with us.
  • More than 20 donors were interviewed by phone about their donation experience, and their stories are appearing in the new You’re a Match guide, the Marrow Connection registry member enewsletter and other materials.
  • Seven donors shared their donation experiences on video. Some of those videos appear in our new online course, and more will be posted on our website in coming months.
  • Many donors agreed to share photos taken during their donations, and some of those appear in the donor guide as well.

You're a Match: A Donor's Guide to DonationThe new You’re a Match donor guide is richer due to the input of the many donors who participated. You can see them for yourself here:

Have you donated?

If you have donated and would like to share your donation story, you can submit a story summary using this form. We appreciate your interest in sharing your story. Please understand that we may not be able to use all stories we receive. If we can use yours, we will contact you to get the details.

12 Responses to “Donors share their experiences to educate others”

  1. Marney Redmond says:

    I am happy to report that when my Brother was 24 I donated to him I was 22 at that time. Well I just turned 47 and very delighted to report that in February that my Brother will turn the “BIG 50!” We are a success story. Thank you to the “Team UCLA!”

  2. Virginia bratney says:

    I really want to help. I am signed up, but is there anything I need to do to donate?

  3. Lisa Miray Hayes says:

    I’ve been on the registry for a little over a year. I haven’t been called yet (I know, patience – there are people who’ve been registered longer than I’ve been alive!) but just want to say here and now, if I ever am called to donate, I’ll be more than willing to share my experience.

    • Thanasis says:

      I doetand whole blood for many years, and then went to exclusively donating via pheresis (sp) for over 15 years, and was bounced out of the program due to a false positive hep c test (this was 20+ years ago.) I have never had a blood test fail since that 1 damn test, but also was never able to re-enter the pheresis program as there is no confiming’ test to prove you don’t have hepc (wierd)) I was so happy to find that I could still register as a marrow donor, and was called in once, but was not enough of a match. I am very proud to be in such a special group of individuals, and would like to say that I hope that the inactive’ lists don’t get purged’, especially with the aging trend of the population and the difficult finding younger donors.

  4. John Crifasi says:

    I just finished donating last Monday after being on the list for about 2 years. It was and interesting and humbling experience. I felt tired and a little achy in the afternoons but felt good when I woke up the next day. Just relax for the shots and it’s not a big deal. I find it hard to believe that all I had to do was take a few hours out of my life, feel a little achy and I had the chance to save a life. Well worth it, I would recommend it to everyone.

  5. Barbara says:

    I have been on the registry for more than 20 years. i am still hopeful that i will be contacted to help someone in need. Patience 🙂

  6. Bruce Lider says:

    My Donee died. He just died. After nine months of living, he stopped. His letters of joy, his family’s happiness at his hospital discharge, gone. It was as if I lost a brother. But it was (after marriage and raising three children) the best thing I have done. The best! Giving someone a second chance at life!!?? Are you kidding? You can…you can.

    With a tear in my eye and a smile in my heart I remember so fondly so deeply participating and giving. So just give baby. You will be so glad you did. And so will the person you may save.

  7. jerry paul southard says:

    I have been on the donor list for about a year and hope I match someone soon. I have been giving whole blood for about 20 years off and on and it feels good to know someone has benefited from my blood. You can help by getting more info on how marrow is donated and make a change in someones life. If someone were starving to death and all you had to do was give up a couple of meals you would do it, right. This is just the same. I am glad that we can save lives like no other time in history.

  8. Angie says:

    I am cmihing in a bit late to thank Kate and the incredibly generous group of 94 people who responded to her fundraising effort. My sentiments echo many of those of my fellow recipients. I am of course grateful to receive money for my SAA registration, without which it would have been impossible for me to attend this year. However this ?spontaneous scholarship? has special significance for me at this particular moment in my life.Like some of the other recipients, I am not a student. I obtained my MLIS in 2006 and have been somewhat lucky in that I?ve been able to work in the field since that time. However, I?ve only been able to cobble together a series of temporary, grant-funded, positions (and currently am doing contract work and do not get funding for professional development). During this time I?ve had the privilege to work for some great people who?ve become friends and mentors, but without getting into the details, I?ve also had the misfortune of being involved in a situation that sadly tarnished my view of the profession and had me seriously questioning whether it was worth continuing in archives. In the end I realized that in spite of what had happened, I enjoy the work and the people with whom it brings me into contact and I?m excited by all the changes currently taking place in the profession too much to leave. I am looking forward to attending SAA so that I can keep abreast of these changes as well as meet up with some of the truly wonderful, bright and now I can add generous people in our profession. Even had I not been one of the incredibly lucky recipients, just knowing that someone in our field came up with the idea to offer spontaneous scholarships and so many others responded, has rekindled my faith in the archives community! I look forward to being able to contribute to this scholarship next year!

  9. Christie says:

    I donated bone marrow last week and I am so thankful that the Lord gave me this opportunity. My experience has been wonderful. My coordinator was always very helpful and willing to answer any questions. We had to fly to where they did the procedure and everything was taken care of for my husband and I. When I came to in recovery I was in more pain than I thought I would be but the hospital staff was very helpful in controlling my pain. I was still hurting pretty bad and not getting around to well the next day and we were scheduled to fly out but the doctor was wonderful and concerned about my comfort so she called my coordinator and got my flight changed to the next day. At first it was hard to get around and I was in some pain. My husband had to help me get dressed and put on my shoes but that got better as days passed. It’s been about a week and a half now and i’m feeling better and not as weak but my back does still hurt some. But when I look at it as i’m sure that the pain i’ve experienced is still nothing in comparison to what this lady has gone through it really doesn’t seem so bad. She is the same age as my dad and I hope that if he would ever be in need that someone would generously give apart of them self to help him because I know that I plan to have many more wonderful memories with my day. I pray that the lady will be able to receive my bone marrow and be cured. I can’t wait to hear updates about her!

  10. Linda says:

    I donated PBSCs last month after being on the registry for over 16 years. Yes, it was a bit of an inconvenience (I had to travel to another city) and a bit of a pain at times, but wow – what an experience! To know that at the very least, you gave someone hope and maybe even a chance at a longer life because of it, what an amazing feeling. I now have a “blood brother” out there somewhere and today is his day 36 in that new (and hopefully improved) life. His days are now part of my calendar and I say a prayer for him every new day.

  11. Erin K says:

    I donated PBSC’s last April and it was the best thing I’ve done so far during my lifetime. I just am hoping to hear from my recipient when the year is up! Donating to me was a “no brainer.”

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