Can Metafilter Help Give The Gift of Life? February 14, 2007 8:49 AM   Subscribe

This recent AskMe Question about being a bone marrow transplant donor is very inspiring (Matty's marrow is apparently going to help a one year old child), and has sparked a bunch of people (me included) to sign up on-line to be a marrow donor. MeFi has a wide reach - can this maybe get a sidebar or some extra attention in hopes that more MeFi readers (especially those of non-white heritage) might sign up?
posted by anastasiav to MetaFilter-Related at 8:49 AM (27 comments total)


posted by phaedon at 9:02 AM on February 14, 2007

Just signed up. Thanks for the encouragement!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:13 AM on February 14, 2007

The fact that we can register our marrow online might very well be the best of the web. We should just close Mefi now.

I'm half serious and not at all snarky.
posted by muddgirl at 9:13 AM on February 14, 2007

BTW, ThePinkSuperhero had a similar idea.
posted by muddgirl at 9:14 AM on February 14, 2007

You guys rock - I think ThePinkSuperhero and Anastasiav have some great ideas - which makes them hero's if you ask me.

I'm for sure no hero - since being a match is not something you have any control over or say in, you just are a match or you aren't. I just think if you ARE a match, it's pretty much a moral obligation to go through with it.
posted by matty at 10:42 AM on February 14, 2007

All this talk of heroes, and Matt is never gonna get anything done on this site.

save the cheerleader, save the world.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:57 AM on February 14, 2007

Isn't it kind of painful? A friend did a marrow transplant like ten years ago for a friend that happened to be a match and he said it was pretty brutal, but worth helping his friend for.

Has it gotten any easier/less painful?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:01 AM on February 14, 2007

Well, I posted the link to the front page, so that might help.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:08 AM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Mathowie - your friend's description of his experience is EXACTLY the kind of stuff I'm looking for... I want to know what to REALLY expect.
posted by matty at 11:09 AM on February 14, 2007

(IM Conversation last night)

7:45:37 PM onalark: hey
7:45:41 PM thepinksuperhero: hi
7:45:51 PM onalark: I got an idea from reading that AskMe about bone marrow donation
7:45:59 PM thepinksuperhero: yes
7:46:10 PM onalark: do you think it would be romantic to take my girlfriend to get registered for bone marrow donation together?
7:46:13 PM onalark: tomorrow?
7:46:23 PM thepinksuperhero: No.
7:46:29 PM onalark: damn
7:46:32 PM onalark: I have no sense of romance
7:46:47 PM thepinksuperhero: I mean, maybe in some random weird way
7:47:01 PM thepinksuperhero: but dinner, flowers, chocolate, romance etc might be better.
7:47:07 PM onalark: lol
7:47:08 PM onalark: right
7:47:10 PM onalark: will work on those
posted by onalark at 12:37 PM on February 14, 2007 [4 favorites]

I'm sad to say that actually happened.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:05 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

For the record, she IS getting flowers, chocolates, romance (???), contact solution, a toothbrush, and a potato.

We can do the bone marrow donor registration another day.
posted by onalark at 2:41 PM on February 14, 2007

Great idea anastasiav! Online sign-ups are a great idea. Most of us sign up because someone we know is sponsoring a sign-up drive because they have cancer. That's why I signed up. The guy who sponsored the drive did eventually find a donor, although not directly from his drive, and is still alive today saving lives himself (sugeon). It takes just a bit more effort than checking the organ donor box on your driver's license but really, how awesome would it be to someday save someone else's life just by donating a bit of bone marrow? A sidebar link would be even better than just a post to the front page as they stick around for a long time.
posted by caddis at 2:50 PM on February 14, 2007

I want to know what to REALLY expect.

It is less brutal than it used to be but it hurts, causes lots of ache-ness and fatigue for a little bit afterward. Not unlike getting my wisdom teeth out, I would say they were in the same ballpark. Except no one's life was changed by getting my wisdom teeth pulled.


Good news little jimmy you can CHEW again!
posted by French Fry at 3:48 PM on February 14, 2007

Do they have the same bigoted restrictions blood donation has? I noticed the "if you are at risk for AIDS, you cannot be a donor" thing. What are the rules for us gay folk?
posted by amberglow at 5:06 PM on February 14, 2007

They asked me if I had had sex with a man in the past 5 years. I said 'yes'. The lady on the phone actually said, "Did you say yes??" I said, "yes". Somehow I think I caught her off-guard since her info showed that I was still in the Navy (I recently got out - and even left the Reserves just a couple of weeks ago so now I'm REALLY out).

They also asked the standard questions about exposure to HIV, Hepatitis, etc. On the other hand, they also asked me if I'd ever been to Africa. Oh - and they asked me if I'd been to Europe in the past five years and eaten anything that could have exposed me to mad cow diesease.

After the phone stuff ended, they called me back to clarify some info related to me being a diabetic. The gay angle wasn't mentioned at all, so I'm assuming it's a non-issue.
posted by matty at 5:34 PM on February 14, 2007

Oh - and I'm with 'ya on the blood donation restrictions... my tenant was all "I'm so wholesome cause I gave blood today" earlier in the week. She's single and (rightly so) screws around left and right - I've been with one man for the past 5 years and I can't give blood. Nice rule.
posted by matty at 5:58 PM on February 14, 2007 [3 favorites]

Wait, they asked if you've had sex with a man in the last five years, but the fact that you had didn't affect your eligibility. So they were asking, what, out of curiosity? Did they ask if he was good looking?
posted by textilephile at 7:31 PM on February 14, 2007

My friend/professor who had leukemia got the school (and other orgs, I believe) to sponsor a "Will You Marrow Me" drive to get people to register. I thought that was pretty clever. & it would work for V-Day, so there ya go.
posted by wemayfreeze at 7:35 PM on February 14, 2007

I'll donate marrow when they pay me for it.
posted by shmegegge at 8:14 PM on February 14, 2007

In Canada gay men aren't allowed to donate blood. Because they, you know, have cooties. Us lesbos are ok though. Who doesn't love lesbians?
posted by arcticwoman at 8:47 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

so you've been able to register, matty? it's all completed? (or they're waiting to see what the swab shows?)

The blood ban started in the 80s, when some hemophiliacs got infected with HIV--they didn't have rapid tests then tho and now do, so can screen people out after donation (and they should be testing every drop they get from everyone). Sperm too, i think. Organs and marrow maybe aren't under the same restrictions (or because of the urgent need aren't restricted)?
posted by amberglow at 9:06 PM on February 14, 2007

amberglow - see the linked askme thread. I registered years ago, but a couple of days ago they found a match to my 'type'. The link to what's happening now is up top - it's too early in the morning for me to put up with Windows Active Scripting nonsense and put in the link myself, i.e. the 'old-fashinoned way'.

Nobody asked me when I initally signed up if I was a member of Dorothy's Tribe, but maybe that's because I was wearing a flight suit and was on a Navy base???.

I'll let you know when I find out what happens next... via Projects??
posted by matty at 3:37 AM on February 15, 2007

ahh...sorry---i didn't connect you as the Matty mentioned.

Let us know somehow, and good luck with the procedure--it's such a great thing you're doing (and it's so very much needed that many of us who are shut out of things like this could and would help)
posted by amberglow at 7:46 AM on February 15, 2007

When I went to donate they did ask the “Are you one them strange fella’s” questions, just like the Red Cross. And just like the Red Cross, I told them what they wanted to hear so that I could donate. I know that it may seem like cowing to their bigotry, but I had a friend who needed bone marrow, so I wasn’t going to let their unbelievably inane rules hang me up.

It is sad and bizarre that they still ask though.
posted by French Fry at 8:34 AM on February 15, 2007

That's what people tell me to do (and i have done it in the past for blood--i'm a universal donor--O+), but it makes me feel like i'm closeting myself and perpetuating and enabling bad policy and bigotry and exclusion--HIV is not at all just a gay thing, but according to the agencies, it is. It's a terrible thing that people ready, willing, and able to do some little possible good can't even do so honestly. And all blood (and hopefully marrow and organs, etc) has been screened for years and years now as a matter-of-fact.
posted by amberglow at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2007

It's sort of like the military ban--a needless and discriminatory thing that hurts all of us.
posted by amberglow at 4:53 PM on February 15, 2007

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