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And now for something serious...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ravagekitteh, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. ravagekitteh
    Stegadon

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    As some of you may be aware, I have mentioned previously that I had been diagnosed and had also suffered a relapse in blood cancer. Thankfully this has all cleared up now, and I’m back to living a relatively normal life. However, part of my treatment required a bone marrow transplant, where healthy donor cells are transplanted from a matching person to the patient, replacing their faulty ones and giving them a new lease on life. I was lucky enough to find a match, and had mine in April 2017. However, the problem is in many countries the register for potential donors is opt in, meaning you have to know about it and actively go out of your way to get onto the register. The fact that many of you have likely never heard of this shows the problem with this.

    Matches are needed to give people this lifesaving treatment, and the only way that’s going to happen at the moment is people like you go onto the register. The act of doing so is incredibly simple - it literally only requires you filling out a form and swabbing your cheeks! That’s it. No needles, no hospital appointments, nothing. But in exchange for that you’re giving yourself the opportunity to save a life. If you are called upon to donate, the process is practically identical to giving blood, except they give you your blood back afterwards! A small amount of cases need a General Anaesthetic, but it’s an incredibly simple operation and, again, you’ll be saving a life. If you’ve ever donated blood, you already know what it’s like.

    If you live in the UK, USA, Germany, Poland or Chile, there is a fantastic charity called DKMS that take your swabs, coordinate donations and raise awareness. Their website, which I’ll post a link to below, contains everything you need to know about it. However, if you are from elsewhere, there are plenty of other organisations that can do the same.

    For some patients, this transplant can mean the difference between life and death. If I hadn’t received mine, I might not be around today.

    So please, even if just one of you joins the transplant register, it would still mean one more chance for a seriously ill person to have a chance to live. The more you can spread awareness, the more people you can get on board the better, but even if it’s just you swabbing your cheeks and sending them off, this post would still have been worth it.

    Thanks you for your time.

    Link to DKMS UK site: https://www.dkms.org.uk/en

    Link to DKMS USA site: https://www.dkms.org/en

    Link to a day in the life of someone awaiting a transplant: https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/day-life-henry
     
  2. ravagekitteh
    Stegadon

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    Just another small reminder just in case any of you have forgotten or missed the original post. It’s a super easy process but you could save someone’s life. By the way, if anyone has already gone onto the register, do say so here so others know what it feels like! The same goes if you have any questions about it.
     
    Sreeves and LizardWizard like this.
  3. pendrake
    Skar-Veteran

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    It is nice to hear you are mending.

    I have given blood by Apheresis before. It’s not necessarily as easy-peasy as you are describing. I once had the machine explode and leak internally while I was donating...it stopped working thirty minutes in. When they opened it to trouble shoot there was blood all over the insides of the machine because the use-once bags and tubes had failed.

    In the case involving the general anesthetic are you discussing harvesting marrow from the pelvic bones? or something else?

    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17591-types-of-blood--marrow-transplants

    More detailed ^ info (applicable to US donors/patients).
     
    Sreeves and LizardWizard like this.
  4. ravagekitteh
    Stegadon

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear - I bet that wasn’t the most enjoyable experience! I’m sorry that yours was like that, however, I’ve never heard of anything else of the sort so I think it’s the exception rather than the norm.
    It’s as you said - marrow from the pelvic bones. It’s an incredibly simple operation that I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to have. All it leaves you with is a slightly sore back for the rest of the day. As operations go, it doesn’t get much easier than this
     
  5. Warden
    Skink Priest

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate the info; glad you are currently doing better.

    I have had numerous blood tests and given blood once... numerous times it has involved me also passing out :confused: but if I get the chance to donate again I will keep this in mind!
     
  6. ravagekitteh
    Stegadon

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    This is slightly separate to donating blood - the process if very similar, but what you’re doing is agreeing to donate some of your stem cells (which by the way, will regenerate extremely quickly) to give someone a fresh start without any of the cancer. Chances are you’ll never be called upon, but one more person on the register is one more chance of someone having a match and one more chance for them to survive. Be sure to keep donating blood, but if you can, send off for some swabs and get yourself on the register!
     
    Paradoxical Pacifism likes this.
  7. CitizenCake
    Skink

    CitizenCake Member

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    I donated bone marrow about a year ago, but through a different group called "Be the match". Super easy process and everyone is super nice to you the whole time. I'd recommend it to anyone who is healthy and wants to help folks.
     
  8. ravagekitteh
    Stegadon

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    In case anyone was unsure as to what the process is like, here’s a good account by someone who has donated stem cells:

    https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/if-you-can-write-your-name-and-brush-your-teeth-you-can-register-donor

    As you can see, it’s a very simple procedure but it can be so life changing. If it wasn’t for a certain German woman going on the register, I likely would not be around to tell the tale. Again, if you’ve had any questions or queries, or want to share your own experiences with going on the register or donating, please do say!
     
    Sreeves and Paradoxical Pacifism like this.
  9. ravagekitteh
    Stegadon

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    For some people, time is very literally running out. Signing up could be the difference between life for them, and it’s as simple as brushing your teeth and writing your name. If anybody here is willing, please don’t hesitate to do it.

    https://twitter.com/dkms_uk/status/1099227119794700288?s=21
     
    Sreeves likes this.
  10. Sreeves
    Kroxigor

    Sreeves Well-Known Member

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    awesome, its great to see you doing well, I might consider it when im older.
     
  11. ravagekitteh
    Stegadon

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    Even if you aren’t old enough, you can still help by getting other people you know who are to sign up. I myself am ineligible to do this due to what’s happened, but that’s just given me all the more motivation to get as many of you guys to sign up as possible! :)
     

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