I’ve been meaning to talk to a doctor about the bone marrow register, as I know some of you have been wondering about getting yourselves tested in case you might be a match with me. I havent had a chance yet to query with the doctor, but Ill give you my understanding of it anyway to tie you over until I can check. The probability of any individual (apart from my siblings) being a match with me is minuscule. It isnt like blood where theres a limited number of types. There might be someone out there who is a match, and they are searching the international donor registry to see whether anyone on it is. I am touched, and grateful to anyone who does want to see if theyre a match for me, but because the chances are so tiny that you will be, I dont want you to go and get tested simply on my behalf: as it is I am very doubtful that you could get tested just for me. The way I assume it, the search can only be done through the registry Im sure the chances of an individual being a match being so small would make it impossible to do it any other way. However, I am very eager that everyone I know gets put on the register, because it might help someone! In an ideal world, the entire population of the earth would be on the register, because that way no matches would be missed out. Its very unlikely you personally can help my treatment, but you might be able to help someone, and thats why you should do it, even if my illness is the inspiration. If I knew that one of you registered, came up as a match for someone somewhere with leukaemia, and helped them, that would make me enormously happy. So yes yes yes please do get yourselves on the bone marrow register: not because its likely to help me (though if it only takes 6 degrees of separation to get the entire world registered, lets try!), but because it might help someone. Incidentally, the doctor said they have far more urgent need for more blood donors, so if you arent one, please consider that as higher priority. I think the Anthony Nolan Trust is the main organisation in Britain for the bone marrow register: perhaps somebody else could post details of how to get in touch with them?
The other important thing is to remember that a bone marrow transplant is only one of the options for the third phase of treatment, and not proven to necessarily be the best option anyway, so if they dont find a match on the register, it doesnt mean my treatments in jeopardy! Yes, a match would be great, but its definitely not the be-all and end-all. At all. For my ALL treatment. Y’all. All right.
As I say, Ill check with a doctor that Ive got it right: Im fairly certain the only way to potentially be discovered as a match for me (and of course, though the possibility is minuscule, it IS still a possibility) or for anyone is to get yourself put on the bone marrow register, and I urge everyone everywhere to do so, as it might give someone somewhere a better chance of a cure. And Im a big supporter of that. To get on the register might just be a simple blood test, though again I expect you lot with your internet access will be able to find out more quickly than I can