Just got an email letting me know that I’m officially part of the Be The Match Registry (formally known as the National Marrow Donor Program).
I signed up a few weeks back when there was an offer to waive the normal registration costs (the offer may still be valid). After a week or so of waiting, a test kit arrived containing 3 swab sticks. I rubbed them in my mouth as instructed, attached the included bio-hazard label, and dropped it in the mail. A few days later I received an email letting me know that they received my swabs.
Then nothing for a few weeks.
Finally, today I received an email letting me know that I’m officially in the registry and am eligible to donate if called upon.
My wife was is a little concerned. However, the website has a myths about donating section that clears up some of the misconceptions that many people (including myself) have about donating bone marrow.
For example, the actual procedure is painless due to anesthetics. No bone is removed, just the marrow. Full recovery from donating is about 3 weeks, but the worst experienced by most donators is over after a day or two. The procedure is completely free for the person donating (except for the time commitment).
Anyways, I’m pretty comfortable with the situation and I’m not forced to donate even if I am found to be a match, so my wife and I can cross that bridge when and if we ever come to it.