After taking a personal interest in organ donation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that organ donors can now add their organ donation status as a Facebook Life Event. Did you know that you can easily add your Be The Match Registry commitment on Facebook too? Here’s how:
Save the image below to your computer.
From your personal Facebook timeline page:
- Click Life Event in the status update window at the top of your timeline
- Select Health & Wellness
- Select Other Life Event
- Title the event Joined Be The Match Registry as a potential Marrow Donor
- Upload the Be The Match image from above (right click to save
- Insert the date you joined the registry – if you are unsure, please call us at 1-800-MARROW2
- Add the location and a line or two about your story (optional)
- For donor/patient confidentiality reasons, please don’t post your donation date if you have donated marrow or PBSC.
Note: As with some personal information on Facebook, this Life Event status can be kept private or shared publicly or only with friends. In order to share this Life Event, you need to upgrade to Facebook timeline. To get started go to the Introducing Timeline page and click Get It Now. Learn more about upgrading.
|Basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal has teamed up with Be The Match® to tell the nation about the critical need for more bone marrow donors. In the Do Something BigSM campaign, the basketball superstar will challenge Americans to “Be the one to save a life.”
In three new public service announcements, he challenges Americans to save a life through marrow donation. The videos hit the airwaves and the Internet this month.
In an effort to raise $1 million to give bone marrow transplant patients like Joey one less thing to worry about, Be The Match Foundation collaborated with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” A campaign for patient assistance funds was created and officially kicked off during Sunday’s episode.
For more information about the patient assistance funds visit http://bit.ly/c5Blf
To view Sunday’s episode of Extreme Makeover:
Home Edition go to http://bit.ly/3U5WAQ
To join the Be The Match Registry go to www.marrow.org/join
Getting the call
Two years later, I was called as a possible match for a woman, but she developed complications and couldn’t go through transplant. It was an absolute disappointment for me to realize I almost had the chance to help somebody out, but then I couldn’t.
In 2004, I received another call. This time the patient was a 29-year-old wife and mother from Illinois. I went in for further testing and I asked a lot of questions. I knew I was going to go through with the marrow donation –- it would be foolish and selfish not to. But I asked a lot of questions. I wanted to understand the science.
The donation experience
People ask me a lot of questions about how bad bone marrow donation hurt. But you are under anesthesia during the procedure. It hurts some when you are awake, but let me put it this way: I had the procedure on Thursday and was back at work on Monday.
On the day of the donation, I wasn’t worried about pain or discomfort. My one fear was that the doctors would say “You can go home; we won’t be going through with the marrow donation.” I just wanted to give the patient an opportunity to live.
And donating really wasn’t a big deal, in that the effort it took on my part was minimal. Yes, you can say I saved a life, but my part was just a little cog in a machine built by scientists and doctors.
Making contact with Joey
After the one-year waiting period, I learned my recipient’s name: Joey Stott. We talked on the phone and sent a few e-mails. Prior to contact with Joey, the whole experience was very rational. There was a logical progression in every step. When I got to talk to Joey, it all became very emotional.
All I hope for Joey is to have a great life. To have the opportunity to continue to be a wife, a mother, a daughter -– to have more time with her family.
So when I found out ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was building Joey and her family a new home, I was happy to help with the project. I hope that when the episode airs November 15, more people will know about Be The Match and how easy it is to save a life and keep a family together.
- Read more on Tom’s blog >
- Read about Be The Match joining with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition >
- Watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Sunday, November 15, 8/7c on ABC
The opportunity to pay back
My wife works for the post office, and this was how we became involved. (Editor’s note: The United States Postal Service’s long partnership with Be The Match has added more than 47,000 donors to the marrow registry.)
But the reason for my donation goes back to before I was born. It hit me like a brick wall when I got the call to possibly be a bone
I’ve finally found a way to repay the person who not only
gave me life, but also saved my life very early on.
My mother’s choice
While pregnant with me, my mother was told she had developed a form of cancer. The doctor told her she could treat the cancer but the baby wouldn’t live through the treatment, or she could bring the baby to full term but she would die because the cancer would be too far along. Without pause, my mother decided the baby would live.
As it turned out, the doctor was wrong and my mother didn’t have cancer. Had she decided to have the treatment, I wouldn’t have been born. Service to others, putting them first before her own needs — that’s how my mother, Mary E. Baughn, lived her life. (After 74 years and two bouts with cancer, Mary passed from this life to her heavenly reward.)
Second thoughts about doing this? Never entered my mind!
I hate needles and my family knew this. They all wondered how I would go through the “pincushion” phase.
Well, it wasn’t that bad. I really never had a lot of pain, even after the marrow collection procedure.
Everyone I talked to at the National Marrow Donor Program, especially my contact person Cindy Hofkes, made me feel like I was the only person they were dealing with. The donation procedure at Miami Valley was a breeze, thanks to all the wonderful people there.
Only a few people get a chance to possibly save a life. Sign up! Be a match!