Monday, October 13, 2008

We Interrupt this Blog...

...for the following public-service announcement.

I recently found out that an old friend of mine from high school is fighting an aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He has had many different treatments for this over the past 3 years, including a stem-cell transplant and chemotherapy; the next step in the fight is a bone-marrow transplant.

Unfortunately, Steve is part of a "genetic minority," as he comes from a long line of eastern-european Jews. As such, there is currently no match for him in the bone marrow registry. (This is apparently an ongoing issue for the Jewish community -- I had no idea!) He is a mix of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, and Lithuanian. Out of 12 million people on the registry, he does not currently have a donor match.

No matter what your background is, I hope you'll look into becoming a bone-marrow donor. It is an out-patient procedure and all expenses are paid by the patient's insurance. And if your background is Jewish, please be aware that the community is in dire need of your help.

Thanks so much for reading this far... And thanks in advance for FORWARDING A LINK TO THIS BLOG POST EVERYWHERE YOU CAN THINK OF.

Leave me a comment if you think you can help and I'll make sure Steve gets your message.

Here is a photo of Steve and his family, so you can see exactly who you'll be helping! Please don't let the gorgeousness of the family sway you in any way. ;-)




Here are some links to some helpful organizations and information:

http://www.giftoflife.org/

http://www.marrow.org/



31 comments:

DonnaL said...

Yes yes yes! Please sign up for the donor list. It just takes a simple cheek swab. Think of what this would mean if you or someone you loved were in this situation -- wouldn't it be worth a little sacrifice to save someone else's life?

Kate said...

Yeah, and Donna "walks the walk" too, cuz she is in the process of signing up to be a donor!

I ::heart:: Donna!

Uncle Zeke said...

WE-HOO! I just got myself put on the bone marrow registry, this summer at the WARPED TOUR! Do I know how to party, or WHAT? But, sorry to say, Eastern European Jewish genes are NOT in the Dahl lineage. Just crazy children's novelists. GO ROALD!!

I wish the best for your friend...

Kate said...

How hard do you rock, Mr. The Freak?!?! HOW. HARD. DO. YOU. ROCK.?!?!

And... You're not *really* related to Roald, ARE YOU?!?!

Uncle Zeke said...

Well, daggummit, I am just going to do my genealogy and figure it out! Great Grandpa Alexander Dahl came from Norway. Roald was born in Norway. Maybe he's my long lost cousin!! Time to head to the LDS Family History Center, pay a visit to my good friend Arthur 'Killer' Kane, formerly of The New York Dolls, and find out!! Oops... I forgot. Arthur, bless his heart, isn't working there any more...

Oh, and I. Rock. WAY. Hard.

Marissa said...

Where does one go to get on the registry? I'm not of his descent but hey, maybe I could help him or someone else. More details please, and I'll do it! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Shayne, I am the Recruitment Coordinator here at the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. If anybody has any questions about registration please feel free to contact me at spilpel@giftoflife.org or 800-962-7769. We are North America's only Jewish Bone Marrow Registry. I look forward to hearing from you!

Chaig Samach!

Marissa said...

I did have a Jewish great grandmother but I believe she was Jewish by marriage, not descent. Even still, it appears I am eligble to become a donor and am having a test kit sent to me.

Thanks again Kate - this is something I have been meaning to do and you gave me the push, and opportunity, to get my butt in gear. Best of luck to Steve. He will be in my thoughts & prayers. If I can't help him specifically I hope I will have the opportunity someday to help someone else.

Never, ever forget: We're all in this together!

Kate said...

This is awesome! We have 4 people signed up to be tested (myself included)! It's only gonna take *one* to be a match.

Spread the word!!!

Paula M. said...

A cheek swab? Wow, that's even easier then giving a bit o'blood to be tested (which is what I did). And remember, when you join the registry make sure to tell them if you move!!!

aimee said...

what a beautiful family! i doubt i would be a match for steve, however, this is something i'm going to look into for sure. maybe i can help someone else in the future. i never knew it would be this easy to help. thanks for posting this!!

(p.s. i lurk your blog from matt's blog. hope you don't mind!!)

Sara in the MN said...

Hey Kate, another Creep heading your way...I was going to ask for some info after I saw the first comment! Thank you for posting this. I have been interesting in getting info and you just made it a whole lot easier!

Kate said...

Thank YOU, Sara! All you Minnesotans are *awesome*!

Marissa said...

Kate, my husband would also like to be tested and added to the national registry (no Jewish ties however). We're going to look for a donor drive in our area for his test and see what we come up with. He was so proud of me for stepping forward to help. I ask him what kind of person wouldn't and I'm just ashamed I haven't done it sooner.

Marissa said...

* I even ASKED him *

(type A personality who hates self-imposed typos) :blushing:

Heather said...

just wanted to offer some help to your friend. i'm a NHL survivor as well and belong to a great online group. it might help to be able to talk with others going through the same thing as well as learn about possible treatments. seems like our members have been through it all. if you would like to pass along a link here it is:
http://forums.webmagic.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php

randommsugirl said...

Kate,
This is so great posting this. . . I hope someone can help this man like everyone has helped Matt and Maddy (lurker from Matt's blog). Anyway, I found out that there is a "drive" for bone marrow in Chicago on 10/25, only a couple of days away! So if anyone is from that area, you can join the registry then! I am going to go and get registered!
Meredith from Chi

Hilary said...

I'm also Jewish (Eastern European/Russian grandparents) and am going to sign up to get in the registry and will post about this on my blog too.

Thanks for the push I needed to finally do this.

Tash said...

Been very much involved in the Bone Marrow Donation drive this year thanks to Adrian Sudbury who unfortunately passed away in August but has done so much to raise awareness of the need for Bone Marrow Donors.

See:

http://baldyblog.freshblogs.co.uk/

Will spread the word as far as possible.

Alaina said...

I signed up while back when the fee was wavered. It was sooo simple!

Best of luck to your friend.

Anonymous said...

I'm of this exact descent - first generation. I don't know what everything entails, but if he wants to e-mail me, I can be reached at jbelsky@irr.com

Pammy said...

I might very well fit his criteria! I was reading Matt's blog today and stumbled across this...going to check it out! My mom is a leukemia survivor, so I know all too well about this.

Kim said...

I came here via Matt's blog also. I made this the most recent post for my blog and have also passed it on via email to everyone I know! I know the importance of this, as a friend's son battled leukemia several years ago. My best to Steve--this is how amazing things happen!!

Amy in San Diego said...

I'm of Eastern European Jewish descent, and just signed up. Who knows -- maybe we'll be a match! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

A close friend of mine passed away a couple years ago from non-hodgkins lymphoma and was just 45 years old. If I could help someone else fight NHL, it would be an honor and a privilege.

Jessica said...

Hi K8,

I am of that exact descent, Eastern European Jewish. I'll be checking out the donor site and hopefully, there might be a match! I'll pass this on to my friends at our temple this weekend, too. Your friend is in our thoughts.
L'chaim,
Jessica

Kate said...

THANKS, EVERYONE! Y'all are just blowin' me away with your willingness to help!

Kinda restores one's faith in humanity, y'know?! Wow!

Kathryn said...

Hi Kate,

I'm so sorry to hear about this battle Steve is fighting. When you described his cultural background I immediately thought about all these people that I work with that match that to a "t". However, I am in Germany. We have many Russian, Polish and Ukranian people living here. Is it possible for him to get on an international registry? I really hope there is such a thing!!!

Erica said...

i'm on the donor list already, which i guess means I'm not a match. Many healthy prayers to your friend.

Anonymous said...

I am East-Indian and I signed up last year. I hope your friend finds a match.

NCavillones said...

Steve and I have a similar genetic lineage. How do I get on the donor list?

Sara in the MN said...

GREAT news! We had the Memorial Blood Center here today and LO and BEHOLD, they were registering Bone Marrow potential donors as well. I'm proud to say I registered and then proceeded to grab passerbys and get them to register too! I then came back to my cube and sent an email out to my 200 co-workers and got them movin!! We did great today...good luck to your friend I hope we are able to help someone!