My story of bone marrow transplantation
Hello all! My name is Brian. I just wanted to let everyone know how they can save people's lives. About a year ago my health began to deteriorate, and by December I found out that I had a very rare bone marrow disorder called aplastic anemia. This is a disease where my immune system attacked my bone marrow and destroyed it leaving me with no way to make enough blood to sustain myself (blood consists of white blood cells for immunity, red blood cells to carry oxygen, and platelets to help clot). I became transfusion dependent in December and have been receiving both red blood and platelets since.
But here is the amazing part, after several treatments failing we moved to a Bone Marrow Transplant. This means that I had to have what was left of my immune system and bone marrow destroyed by chemotherapy and radiation and new stem cells infused into me. The problem is that I did not have a sibling match. Someone literally saved my life by donating bone marrow to me.
For legal reasons I will not be able to know who this person is for one year. I spent a month in the half in the hospital in June and July and am now recovering at home. It's still early on, but I have not had a transfusion in almost three weeks! My body is working and hopefully soon I can get back outside to take pictures.
I wanted to write this because I am so grateful, and you can be a life saver too. Visit marrow.org and request to get on the list. Most forms of donation are nearly painless, and most are never called up to donate (I spent four years on the list without ever being called). Also, support your blood bank with donations of platelets or blood. I alone consumed nearly 80 units of blood to keep me alive until the transplant.
Thank you community for giving this more than a passing thought. If you have any questions I am more than happy to answer as I recover on my couch.
Photo credits: , Chaoss.