Feb 18 2009

A few easy ways to potentially save a stranger’s life

When we went to the hospital to give birth to our son, we made sure to have our cord blood donation kit ready to go. After Shane cut Jonathan’s umbilical cord, our midwife collected the leftover blood in the cord.

This blood contains stem cells which can be used to treat serious illnesses such as leukemia.

Our original plan was to leave the cord attached until it stopped pulsating, meaning that Jonathan would have more of his own blood back in his body. According to the cord blood donor representative I spoke with, we could still donate after waiting.

Since I had developed some complications, they wanted to cut the cord so Jonathan could be evaluated right away.

Donating his cord blood
was a free, easy and painless thing to do, and it just might have saved someone’s life.

I figured if I could donate my son’s stem cells, why not see about donating my own?

One of my best friends had leukemia and received a life-saving bone marrow transplant from her father. But what if no one in her family was a suitable match? She’d have to hope someone on the bone marrow registry was a match.

Many families pray that their loved ones will be able to find a donor before it’s too late. So it’s up to us healthy folk to get on that registry to help someone out.

You can get on the bone marrow registry online! Simply fill out a health questionnaire, and they’ll send you a kit to take some cell samples.

I took four q-tip like swabs, and brushed the insides of my cheeks. I put the swabs back in the collection mailer and sent it on its way. It was quick and painless. I absolutely love that I could get on the registry without having to submit a blood sample or go somewhere.

It did cost $52, however. The fee is to cover their lab expenses.

Shane and I don’t have a ton of money to donate to the many worthy causes out there, but we can certainly donate our bone marrow if need be. If you think you’d be willing to give someone a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant, learn more about the process and get on the registry!

Not sure if you can commit to that? Then consider donating your blood. I haven’t yet done this, but as soon as I get a chance, I’d like to. When I was 17, I tried to donate blood but was turned away because they couldn’t find a good vein. After that, I chickened out and hadn’t gone to any other blood drives. While pregnant, though, I had given countless blood samples and it really is a piece of cake. I figure if I can birth a human, I can certainly give a little blood to someone who might need it.



7 Responses to “A few easy ways to potentially save a stranger’s life”

  1. How cool! Thank you so much for sharing this information. I love frugal charity! :)

    Karen’s last blog post..Reducing stress a little at a time

  2. I have a friend who is waiting for a kidney transplant (she has Sjogren’s, and blogs at sjogrensandme.blogspot.com). My husband is waiting to be tested. Several of her family members and a few friends volunteered to get tested, but surprisingly, she also has had a few people come forward who have never even met her. I thought that was really cool.

    Donating blood isn’t too hard. I’d just recommend going to an actual building to do it, and avoiding the blood mobile buses. My husband and I went to one and they sort of rushed us out because other people were waiting to donate, and they only had so much space. Jordan wasn’t ready to go, and when he got up to leave he turned white as a sheet and nearly passed out. Usually if you go to a building they give you ample time to recover with your cookies and soda.

  3. It’s great that you guys made the effort to do this. Did you weigh the option of storing your boy’s cord blood for him? I’ve heard of people doing that, but I thinks it’s very expensive, right? Just want to get your thoughts on that since we’re two weeks out.

    PT Money’s last blog post..Stick it to The Man: 15 Things You Should Never Pay For

  4. PT — It would have been really expensive. Like, $1,000 plus a monthly storage fee (I think that was in the $50 to $100 range). It’s just not in the budget for us, and the likelihood that we’ll need it is small. I really hope I’m not regretting it later!

  5. I am on the bone marrow list….I signed up last year when they were offering it completely free, so I didn’t even have to pay for the lab fees. Hooray!

  6. Being the mother of Kacie’s friend who had the bone marrow transplant prompted me to comment on this particular blog. After I watched my 17 year old daughter suffer through 3 rounds of chemotherapy, she was miraculously healed by her own father’s bone marrow, but there are so many children and adults in need of a bone marrow transplant. I was in the registry up until last year, when I, too, needed a transplant and my sister was a perfect match for me.
    Please consider joining the national registry – giving bone marrow is pretty painless and YOU SAVE SOMEONE’S LIFE!!!! What better gift could you give anyone?
    Thank you so much Kacie for bringing attention to this great cause. God bless you.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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