Day 291: Blood brothers and sisters

This is cool, in a creepy sort of way ... red blood cells. See what I mean?
This is cool, in a creepy sort of way ... red blood cells. See what I mean?

A friend told me about a great site called (thanks, Nancy!), operated by the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, which matches bone-marrow and stem-cell donors with patients who need transplants.

My friend actually knows someone who joined the network and has volunteered to donate her bone marrow to a stranger in need. She called it “the ultimate good deed,” and I’d have to agree.

Turns out, fewer than 30% of patients who need stem cell transplants find a compatible donor within their own families. The rest rely on volunteers.

While checking out that site, I found another from the Canadian Blood Services group, called

At that site, you can leave a message or video message thanking blood donors for any transfusion you or a friend or family member has received. What an amazing way to encourage people to give blood.

I posted a message on the site thanking the blood donors who made it possible for my mother to receive a transfusion (during surgery) following her car accident last winter.

Before I posted the message, I got caught up in reading different people’s stories there — really interesting — and some even made thank you videos.

In fact, here’s one from from Burrard Inlet, B.C.:

Donors Save Lives: Did you know?

  • One donation can save up to three lives
  • One person can donate whole blood up to six times a year, saving as many as 18 lives
  • CBS needs an estimated 80,000 new donors this year to build a long-lasting and sufficient donor base

P.S. I know what you’re thinking… “so when are you opening a vein for the cause?” And I’d love nothing more than to give a pint or two or three. But, unfortunately, in a freaky twist of fate, I lived (and consumed beef) in the U.K. during the “mad cow” crisis of the 1980s, so I’m now on the “we don’t want your droplets, thank you very much” list. Nice, huh?


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