Wednesday, May 09, 2007
If you Had the Power to Save Someone's Life, Would You?
This was sent to me by Amanda and I couldn't wait to pass this along. I registered witht he Bone Marrow Registry the year prior to my breast cancer diagnosis. Just after finishing chemo, I received a call from them stating that I was a potential match and follow up needed to be scheduled. Unfortunately, my cancer history made me ineligible to participate and it devastated me. Please take a moment and consider joingint he registry. You just save a life. What could be better than that?
The National Marrow Donor Program, the same program that is used
to find potentially life-saving tissue donations for leukemia
patients, is holding an online drive for members in honor of Mother's
Day.

The promotion, called "Thanks, Mom," urges people to join the
marrow registry in honor of their mothers, thereby giving the gift of life
to others since your mom gave life to you. (My words-not theirs, I
am waaaaay too excited about this to be eloquent.)

The best part of the promotion is that you can join the registry
from 7 May to 21 May FOR FREE. The NMDP has received funding to
allow people to register at no cost to them (the registration fee is
usually $52, to cover the cost of the tissue-typing kit and the associated
lab costs).

It's super-easy---just go to http://www.marrow.org/ and click on the
"Thanks, Mom!" banner in the center of the page for more information.
Go through the online registration process. Then, the NMDP will send
you a tissue typing kit, which is essentially a cheek swab. You'll take
a scraping of your cells from the inside of your cheek (like
you probably did in high school biology) and that's it!

Please take a minute to consider joining the registry. Many people who are eligible for marrow or stem cell donation aren't registered in the database, meaning that there could potentially be a leukemia/lymphoma/auto-immune patient out there who will go without a transplant because their match wasn't registered.

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Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
3 chimed in

Thursday, May 03, 2007
I Only Ask Once a Year
In just two weeks I will be participating in my third Relay for Life. I keep wondering, why is it this event that I choose to do year after year? In fact, many of these events (Relay, Komen Walk, Avon Walk, Revlon Walk, etc.) have become a cancer survivor’s right of passage. We come in droves to don our special honorary t-shirts and walk in circles together. Honestly, if a fortune teller would have predicted that one day I would be diagnosed with cancer and when I finished treatment I would participate in the ritual of walking a few miles with others, I would have wondered where that crackpot came up with such an idea. So why is this important to me?

When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, your life becomes a vortex that borders on spinning out of control. There are decisions to be made, insurance nuisances to address, and emotional and physical issues to manage. Everything must be laid out before you and coordinated in such a way that all the pieces can come together at the right time, if possible. Recovery is the same. It is a matter of baby steps, one step at time, moving forward and growing stronger each day.

Perhaps therein lies the analogy. The walks symbolize each day moving forward, one step at a time, growing stronger with each and every step. It is celebration, it’s a time to mourn, it is a time to challenge myself, it is a time to be proud, and it is a time to realize how far I still need to go.

We all have favorite charities and causes. This is mine. Fighting cancer is not fought alone. We all have to take up the fight. Will you join me?

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Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
2 chimed in

Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12