Be the Match. It’s simple. It’s easy. But there is a cost, a sacrifice. And there is a possibility of a future blessing one cannot prepare for or imagine or fathom.
From cancer to bone marrow disorders, a bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant is sometimes a key to full recovery, remission, or just more time between another transplant. It provides hope in the midst of excruciatingly dim odds and statistics. It can give physical life where there was none.
Chemotherapy and radiation alone are not enough to cure some cancers and bone marrow disorders. Sometimes these patients who suffer from these need a brand-new start, and it’s a fresh slate that hinges on a willing, sacrificial person. It takes two people to begin and potentially finish a successful bone marrow transplant; two people – one very sick and one very healthy.
Unlike the very sick patient, a donor willingly signs up for the bone marrow donor registry knowing he will only be giving something of himself, not knowing of its return. It’s a commitment, but a very easy “yes” when he knows the potential reward for him and his match. What’s so incredible is that this registry is worldwide. How do I know? I know firsthand, because Brandon’s donor is from Germany!
I remember the night we awaited Brandon’s transplant. We were on the tip-top floor of Vanderbilt Hospital, in Nashville, TN, in the smallest hospital room God ever made. It was the last wing to be renovated because of how delicate its patients were. These men and women on this hall had no immune systems to fight even the weakest virus, even something as minor as ringworm (our oldest contracted a huge ringworm on the top of his scalp several days into Brandon’s 30-day hospital stay and had to wear a ball cap as an 11-month-old to prevent Brandon from coming in contact with it. Keeping that ball cap on was a TRIP!).
There we sat, Brandon in all his bald glory (due to days of chemotherapy to get rid of his very bad bone marrow) and me in all my 10 weeks pregnant glory, watching the minutes tick by when I heard the sound we had waited to hear for months. The helicopter hum. We knew it was for us. And there we pictured Brandon’s donor sitting somewhere in Europe (we couldn’t know for a year exactly where the donor lived, but we were informed it was Europe), in a hospital, recovering from a bone marrow harvest, wondering when his donor recipient would in fact receive the life-giving marrow.
Brandon received the new marrow cells by IV over the course of a couple of hours, and after his blood pressure sky-rocketed, a stint of severe nausea and vomitting, and two glorious shots of morphine, his long days of recovery began. His years of being a daddy started all over again at Day Zero. His days of impacting this world for Jesus marched right on along, all because a precious man in east Germany signed up to potentially help another human being have a chance at physical life. God used Be the Match to give my husband more days on this earth, more babies to raise, and more opportunities to tell this story of physical redemption, prayers offered and prayers answered, and God’s work of saving souls for all of eternity.
And just a couple of months ago, Brandon was able to actually connect with his donor and tell him “thank you” and show him the tangible way his decision to sign up for the bone marrow registry has impacted our lives for the best.
It’s so easy, y’all. Even easier initially than giving blood (go give blood too!!!). Be the Match changed our lives, and I know many, many other families like ours would be so ever grateful for your sacrificial giving as a donor. Sign up today.