I got the phone call four years later.
Staci was a match for a 59-year-old man with myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease where the bone marrow fails to produce blood cells of normal quality and/or quantity.
Though she had a very rare reaction to the medication given prior to the donation to increase cell count, Staci found the overall experience to be very positive: “it’s exuberating, saving a life.”
Staci’s donation could have ended there, but she wanted to do more to support Puget Sound Blood Center’s Bone Marrow Program.
This year, I made a New Year’s resolution where every three months, I would give back. I was donating and looking at the electronics. I asked, ‘how do people donate and be specific about what they need to provide?
What we needed most was a blanket warmer. Warm blankets are a comfort to donors, whose lifesaving efforts require reclining on the donation bed for several hours, and the current piece of equipment was more than 30 years old and wearing out.
Staci had hosted a charity golf tournament for breast cancer a few years ago, and decided to do it again this summer to raise money for a replacement.
It got bigger than I anticipated — I had 44 people that helped give back to PSBC.
All in all, the tournament raised $3,474 — enough for a new blanket warmer!
The recipient of Staci’s donation is currently doing well — her cells engrafted, and he is recovering and returning to his pre-transplant activities. Staci knows what she would tell him if he contacts her.
Happy birthday. If I get a chance to meet them, that means they hit their year mark. Happy Birthday.
When people ask Staci about bone marrow donation, she tells them the following:
It isn’t painful. It’s not. There are anomalies out there, I was one, but take the time to educate yourself. Everyone has the right to say no, but everyone has the responsibility to give back somehow.
Learn more about joining the Be The Match registry.