Swab for bone marrow

First you fill out the paperwork. Two quick swabs to inside of each cheek and you’re done. That’s easy enough. Providing this tiny tissue sample is all it takes to register for the national bone marrow donor database. Charitable contributions and commitments such as this can become part of leading a balanced active lifestyle.

“It only takes 10 minutes save a life,” passersby heard us say as we handed them a flier. Throngs of people streamed past our booth near the entrance to Canoecopia. We had a prime spot to catch paddlers and nature lovers coming in or out of the world’s largest canoe and kayak expo. Hopefully the information we provided answered many of questions regarding the importance of registering as a bone marrow donor.

Over the course of three days 5 volunteers and I signed up and swabbed 63 individuals. Willing to offer up their bone marrow to a stranger with leukemia or some other blood disorder, hardy athletic types like outdoor enthusiasts are prefect candidates to become donors. And hopefully should the need arise and they’re matched with a cancer patient they’ll be willing to give the gift of life.

I consider myself pretty lucky to be healthy, active and athletic. Long past the point where I might take a national title as a champion triathlete, whitewater kayaker or sport climber I invest my time training in order to maintain and perpetuate my physical fitness. Dedicating a bit of time, energy and perhaps one day, bone marrow is a small price pay to benefit those who may not be so fortunate.

Should the day come when I or someone in my family needs the help of a stranger I certainly hope they’ll be there for us. The least I can do now is be there for them.

Find out how you can become a bone marrow donor at:

www.lovehopestrength.comwww.dkmsamericas.org or www.marrow.org

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

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