Ted donating bone marrow

Ted’s Story

Story by Ted, Minnesota, USA

It’s not every day that we get the chance to save someone’s life.  But, as fate would have it, Ted would get that chance.  He was the perfect bone marrow match for his sister.  And there was not a moment of hesitation when it came to stepping up to be her donor.

Ted’s sister, Meg, has struggled with life-threatening diseases her entire life.  Beginning with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes when she was just an infant, she has battled numerous health challenges.   But, in 2019, she faced her biggest challenge yet – a diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a type of blood cancer, and only a bone marrow transplant could save her.

The stories on this page, Planet Kind, are stories of kindness.  And what struck me as the kindest part of Ted’s story was the fact that he didn’t even really consider his part in this as an act of kindness.  There was never any question – he would do whatever necessary to save his sister.

“My process was easy,” Ted explained.  “What I had to do was nothing compared to what she was going through.” 

So, what is the process to be a donor – is it scary or painful?  According to Ted, it’s not.  “They basically make sure you’re a match and screen your blood to make sure it’s safe.  You go into the hospital, go under anesthesia, and then wake up.  The only side effects I felt was general fatigue and soreness in the hips, where they took the blood from.  I went back to work the next day.”

Ted was able to save Meg’s life. But finding a match isn’t always easy. Meg was lucky she had a sibling, and even luckier that he was a viable donor and match. In actuality, the odds are likely against you.  That’s why the work of organizations like Be the Match is so important. 

Ted understands first-hand how this particular act of kindness can have an astounding impact on the giver and the receiver: “For people who are on the fence on donating bone marrow, just do it.  Your process is easy and you have the potential to save a life.”

So, do something kind today and check out my post, National Marrow Awareness Month, for more information. You never know, you may be saving someone’s life.

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