A Brief Pitch for Marrow Donation

If you don’t currently know anyone who needs a bone-marrow donation to live, you may soon. Some 35,000 American children and adults need these stem cells of the blood in order to keep going, and many find that their relatives and close friends do not match them closely enough to prevent their bodies from rejecting the gift. Hence, they rely on strangers.

In today’s Science Times, Jane Brody notes that marrow donation has become much less painful, which is a big improvement. (It used to require large needles and hip pain somewhat greater that that which would result from a hard fall on the ice.)

Still, only six million American volunteers have signed up for the national marrow registry. On the one hand, that’s amazing — six million people have signed up to help people they don’t even know a little. This generosity goes beyond the capability of most animals, and is, according to spiritual teachers like the Buddha, Moses Maimonides and Jesus, the highest form of charity.

On the other hand, the population of the United States is just shy of 300 million, so some of you haven’t quite gotten around to signing up.

If you haven’t, please do so. It’s easy. Contact the National Marrow Donor Program, and they’ll help you out.

Most of us never get the chance to save the life of a stranger, whether dramatically or un-. Marrow donation offers you that chance. Imagine the feeling you would carry with you, if you knew that you had helped a child to live!

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