Did you know that you can get a free test kit from the national bone marrow registry? Yes, free. The kits usually cost at least $50 because the cost of testing the samples is so expensive. I'm not sure who is funding the free kits (personal donation, corporate donation), but there has never been a better time to register as a bone marrow donor.
Simply go to http://www.marrow.org/JOIN/Join_Now/join_now.html to get your kit. You must answer some questions on the first page in order to meet the registry requirements. You will then have to complete a donor form and on the page where you are asked for a code, enter Mya829. Note: this code is case sensitive. Once you submit the form, your registration will be processed.
You will receive your kit along with a self-addressed return envelope in which to return the samples, in about a week. The kit includes four cotton-tipped swabs (called buccal swabs) with complete instructions on how to use the swabs to take cell samples from the inside of your cheeks. Swab your cheeks and mail the samples back as soon as soon as possible because it can take up to 6 weeks to tissue type.
The is a great program but one that not many people are aware of. So many people are waiting for bone marrow transplants and there simply are not enough donors. The more donors, the more likely a match for those waiting. Not everyone is eligible to join the registry, but if you are eligible, please consider joining. You could save a life, the life of someone you know or the life of a complete stranger. Saving a life could be the most important thing you ever do.