Be The Match, Save A Life

LIFE IS A TWISTED fit of irony. That’s what I say to myself on some days. In fact, the more I think about it, I can’t seem to conclude otherwise.

Like times when I think about how a woman whom nobody wants is the same woman whom someone later decides he cannot live without. Or the faithful couples I know who try hard to conceive in vain, as countless teenagers make their way in and out of clinics on the basis of “convenience”. And while there are approximately one million suicides in the world each year, there are those like Janet, in the video above, who are desperately pleading for every ounce of breath that life would lend them.

I came across Janet’s plea last night from a buddy’s link. I told myself I should probably register to donate the following morning, then went to bed. Today I get a call from a 213 number, somewhere in Los Angeles. I don’t usually pick up if I don’t recognize the number immediately, but on this day something prompted me to do it.

“May I please speak with Martin?” said the soft, feminine voice on the other line. By the tone of her voice, I could tell she was young, Asian, and perhaps even cute. Yes, this is he, I said. She went on tell me how she was from the bone marrow registry and that I had given a sample back in 2004. Now I might turn out to be a match. Not a call I had expected.

“Oh cool. So, what does that mean?” I asked. She said something about having to fill out a questionnaire of some sort and then proceeded to explain two of the possible procedures I’d have to go through if it does turn out to be a perfect match. One was as simple as drawing blood or something like that. The other involved undergoing an operation to remove stuff from my pelvic area. That’s bittersweet, I thought. I hate surgeries. I am tired of surgeries. Please God, no more surgeries…

I asked her if she knew any details about the patient. “Her name doesn’t happen to be Janet, right?” No, she said. The patient is a 33 year-old woman. But she happened to catch the viral video on YouTube, and she said there were a lot more registrations today because of it.

After the conversation, I thought about what a coincidence it had been that I had just watched the video last night and wondered if I needed to re-register or donate, only to receive a call that I was a match no more than a day later. I got back home and filled out the electronic questionnaire. I breezed through most of the questions, especially the “sex” ones. (It was a simple “No” throughout.) Some of the diseases they had asked about I couldn’t even pronounce. By the time I had finished and submitted the form, I was rooting badly that I would be her match. Or someone’s match. What’s a few hours in the hospital and a couple days of pain if I can save someone’s life on earth?

I’m praying that I will be this woman’s match. I’m praying for Janet that she’d find her own match. But for those of us who are blessed with good health, I ask that we do our part to help those in need. As the girl told me over the phone, they are in dire need of Asian donors.

Please register here to donate today. It only takes a few minutes of your time. You could save a life. And you never know if you’ll be in Janet’s shoes or know someone who is.


2 responses to “Be The Match, Save A Life

  1. Thank you for this post and sharing your experiences and prayers. Last year someone I know (Amit Gupita of photojojo) needed a bone marrow transplant and just this week a 10 match was found!

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