Exactly one month after stepping out of the Atlantic Ocean, I have walked to my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA! I have really been enjoying my walk, meeting new friends, and seeing old friends, and just enjoying the great outdoors. I was approaching Pittsburgh when I received a message from sisters Sam and Alex Kimura who are on a similar mission to register people to the bone marrow registry. The Kimura sisters are on a one year road trip through all 50 states, swabbing cheeks and hopefully finding a match for Sam, who has been battling Aplastic Anemia for about five years. Coincidentally we were passing through Pittsburgh at the same time, so we made plans to meet up. It was my first time meeting someone who has been unsuccessful in finding a match. Sam is such a fun, outgoing girl who deserves to live a full life. Her match is out there somewhere, and we should all be motivated to swab our cheeks to see if we are her or someone in her situation's life-saving match. Did I mention she's super cute? Check out their website here> http://www.sharingamericasmarrow.com
Anyways, it's good to be home and after 12 days straight of walking, it was nice to take one day off. I am very excited to throw out the honorary first pitch at the Pittsburgh Pirate game on Tuesday the 19th, and also looking forward to my "passing through" party at Squaw Run Park, on Saturday.
Most of us are unaware of the bone marrow registry, what it means to be a potential donor and are unfamiliar with the whole process. I would like to quickly tell you that: with a simple q-tip swab of your cheek, you can join the bone marrow registry. Be The Match typically wants 18-44 year old men and women to join the registry, and your chances are 1 in about 500 to be someone's match.
If your DNA is a match to someone in need of a bone marrow transplant, you will be contacted to begin your life-saving procedure right away. Most of the time you will be asked to donate your stem cells instead of bone marrow, which is similar to giving blood. You may be achy for a couple days, but fairly painless and a very small price to pay to save the life of a fellow human being! If you are asked to give bone marrow, you will be under anesthesia and won't feel a thing during the procedure. They will take a shot from each side of your hips, and when you wake up, you may feel achy for a few days, but once again you will SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE! Put yourself in their shoes and see if it's not worth it.
Most people who I've asked to swab are very excited for the chance to save a life and hope that they are the one to be called on. I too hope to be called on as someone's match. Please consider joining the registry as you might be the one to save the life of one of the thousands of people who currently can't find their match. You can request a kit to be mailed to your home at http://www.bethematch.org