April is National Donate Life Month, and National Pediatric Transplant Week is April 23-29, 2023. Donate Life is the national registry for matching organ, eye, and tissue donors and recipients. The Be The Match organization pairs bone marrow transplant recipients with non-related donors worldwide. As a parent of both a bone marrow transplant recipient and a bone marrow donor, I can speak to the importance of these organizations. When my daughter Hailey was five years old, her life was saved by the bone marrow transplant of her two-year-old sister Emily. We were lucky to have a related donor, but only some are as fortunate. Up to 75% of transplant recipients require an unrelated donor match. Both organizations save lives but can only do it with people willing to be on the donation registry. Registration is as simple as a swab of your cheek and a few minutes of your time.
If you hail from Colorado, you may be surprised and pleased to know that the first unrelated transplant recipient was from Fort Collins, CO. In the late 1970’s Dr. & Mrs. Graves (of the Morning Fresh Dairy family), in a desperate attempt to save their young daughter’s life, founded what is now Be The Match. To read more about their story and learn how you can be a part of saving a life, please visit the Be The Match website. https://bethematch.org/about-us/our-story/
April may be Donate Life Month, but there is a need for lifesavers every day. Please consider joining today https://donatelife.net/. Your willingness to be a part of the registry is easy and painless, but the benefits to the stranger’s life you save are immeasurable. Speaking for those who have received donations from unrelated donors, I say, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have saved and changed lives.”