So, i was thinking, my vi Powered! page (and lately my Tahoe page) gets plenty of hits. By far they're the most trafficked pages on my site. But, so what?
Don't get me wrong, vi (and Tahoe) are cool and all, and having your name on a page is kind of cool too, but can't i do something with these hits? Can't they be useful?
So here's the idea. A banner on my vi (and Tahoe) page links here. Here's where i'll tell you how you can make yourself useful: Donate some time, money, or 2-3 tablespoons of blood (yes, your blood), and you could help save a life, the earth or some other worthy cause.
Now i know that i said in the intro that you'd only be donating 2-3 tablespoons of blood (to get into the bone marrow database), but really, take it from me, a scrawny little guy, donating a one pint isn't that bad.
Basically, if you are able, you should donate. Remember to drink lots of fluids the day of your donation. (When i gave for the first time in years a few months ago, i forgot about this, and they made me guzzle some juice before letting me donate. A month later, i remembered and loaded up on water the day of my donation. Fully hydrated, i must've given the same amount of blood in _half_ the time. Wow.) Oh, and eat low-fat foods the day before. (Always a problem for me... i'm so bad about junk food.)
My boss pointed this out to me on Friday, and it's funny, a good friend of mine recently started working for eToys. Anyways, this is a really easy way to do something nice for a child in need.
Leukemia is a disease of blood cells. The bone marrow either doesn't produce enough, or produces mal-formed blood cells. When someone is diagnosed and a bone marrow donor match is found, the patient undergoes heavy amounts of chemotherapy. The chemo will kill all the bad cells to keep them from producing more bad cells. However, it will also kill the healthy good cells. This causes a person's immune system to be totally shot. They need to bring the cell counts way down, so when the patient goes into surgery and has the transplant, (which is a pretty simple procedure), the new good bone marrow will take place of the bad stuff...and start producing new healthy cells, and the patient can start the road to recovery.
(Info courtesy of Wendy/ dutchwmn, of the Barenaked Ladies mailing list. Recently the band's keyboard player, Kevin Hearn was diagnosed with leukemia. He was fortunate enough to find two bone marrow matches within his own family. Others aren't so fortunate. That's why you need to get off your butt and register!)
So, what do you do?
At the National Marrow Donor Program's website, you can read about what steps are required to register as a potential donor (it's as simple as scheduling an appointment and having somebody draw 2-3 tablespoons of blood), and find where you can donate. (That's in the United States. If you're not in the U.S., you should check at the Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide website for a registry in your area of the world.
Additionally, for any of you non-white people out there, you really should get registered. There are certain characteristics of marrow type that are unique to people of specific ancestry. So yah, all you yellow, brown, red, black, and green (?) people should get out there and get registered. It's free!
Um, unless you're white. Sorry. As Alan Kuo (a PhD medical biomedical researcher who himself was struck down with leukemia, but after a 5 month search was able to find a marrow donor) writes, "this may sound unfair, but it's because there are so many Caucasians registered that most Caucasian patients find a match. In contrast, there are very few Asians and other ethnic minorities registered, so all costs are waived to encourage more people from these groups to register."
Actually, a friend of Joy's tells me that the test can often be done for free in conjunction with a blood donation. So if you're planning on giving blood, call ahead and ask about being tested for bone marrow type at the same time.
(Specifically, for you Asians and Asian Americans in the SF Bay Area, there's an Asian American Donor Program that has frequent recruitment drives in the Bay Area. Check out the list, and then go register!)
Oh, one more thing. If you actually do go and register your bone marrow type, can you send me some mail? Thanks.
That's it for now. If you have suggestions for worthwhile ways for people to make themselves useful, let me know.
Back to Darryl's Home Page|
Comments? <footer [at] darryl.com>