Meet Our #MCM: Matt the Hero
We have had quite the exciting week at Sharing America’s Marrow! Our last post about Joe, the donor we registered who recently donated blood stem cells, has been seen by over 100,000 people!
We have had hundred of people reaching out to us asking how they can get registered and sharing their stories. We have heard from transplant recipients thanking Joe and everyone who is registered, from family members of patients who had passed away from blood cancer begging people to get swabbed in their memory, and from more donors, who want people to know how amazing of an experience it was to donate.
One of those donors was Matt! Matt donated peripheral blood stem cells to a man with leukemia. He wanted to share his story to encourage others to get signed up. We are making Matt our #MCM (Man Crush Monday) because how can you not crush on this selfless guy??
We asked Matt a few questions about his donation process:
1) What were your thoughts when you were asked to join the bone marrow donor registry?
My thoughts when I joined the registry were how I would hopefully be the match for a close family friend. She was in need of a transplant, and sadly passed away before getting one. So when I was on the registry, I knew that if I was ever picked, it was in remembrance of her.
2) How did you feel when you found out you were a match?
When I found out I was a match, I was very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, but once I realized that I would have the opportunity to potentially save a life, I was 100% on board.
3) What was the process like leading up to the donation?
I donated through stem cells, so I had to get shots for 5 days leading up to my donation day. It was not as bad as it sounds. The shots hurt a bit when you get them, but the sting goes away after a minute or so. (The shots are used to increase the number of blood stem cells in the blood stream).
4) What was the donation like?
The donation was very pleasant. I had my mom with me the entire time and the nurses were so understanding. They know that you are doing a good thing and really make you feel like its just another normal day. It took about 6 hours to extract all the stem cells, but the time flew by thanks to the kindness of all the nurses. I was allowed to watch TV as well and even take a nap, so that helped to pass the time.
5) Would you do it again?
I would 100% do it again, no questions asked!
6) What do you want people to know about donating bone marrow that maybe they don’t know or misunderstand?
Something I think that people misunderstand about the donation process is that it is painful, but it really isn’t. It is just like donating blood, but just for a long time. And if you do donate by the actual marrow extraction, you are under anesthesia, so you don’t feel a thing! I hope that once people know there is no pain, that they will go and register!
If you want to get registered to potentially be a hero like Matt, you can sign up online here and check out the FAQ section for more information. Have any questions? Email Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you out!