Friday, February 23, 2007
Don't let fear keep you from donating
On February 7, my family appeared on CNN to raise awareness about the critical need for minorities to register with the National Marrow Donor Program. February 7 marked the seventh anniversary of my daughter's death. She was 2.
Since 1999, my family has worked to spread the word about the critical need for minorities to join the NMDP. The message is falling on deaf ears.
Hello! Wake up! Are we killing off our own by not stepping up? Are we turning our heads, expecting someone else to do the job?
No one else can.
Because of genetics, you are most likely to match a person within your own ethnic group.
Although Jade died a few months after transplantation, she had a donor and a second chance. Her twin, Jillian, now 9, has had TWO transplants from the same donor. Jillian calls him "hero."
Try to understand the kind of hope donors provide families. Try to imagine having absolutely NO CONTROL, no ability to help your child? To know there's a possibility of saving him or her, but there aren't enough people to help? Explain that to your child.
I have lost one child, watched as my other daughter fought for her life and consoled my son, 12, as he watched his sisters suffer.
I have always believed that if Oprah Winfrey, a household name worldwide, asked minorities to become registered donors, it would happen. Her words are GOLDEN. Her level of influence is unparalleled. It would be amazing - the potential lives saved, the good deeds performed, the energy of gratitude. There would be no tool to measure such an astonishing act, no words good enough to say thank you. It would be life changing.
Get educated. Tell others. Get registered.
Is the past haunting us - fear of the medical community and Tuskegee? We are a very intelligent, determined and prideful race - we have fought for centuries to save ourselves - why stop now?
Online registration: www.marrow.org/join
Accept the challenge.
To see the Pasleys' story, tune in to a special edition of House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta - "Your Race, Your Risk" - Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET
ABOUT THE BLOGGet a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
PREVIOUS POSTS• A note on autism
• 100 Black Men take on the challenge
• Who's leading the charge on food outbreaks?
• Behind the veil of autism
• Just plane scared of flying...
• Imaging the pre-criminal mind
• My mom sets the pace at 81
• Finding the secrets of youth
• Are adoptive parents more attentive than biologica...
• Health awareness days: Mark your calendars again a...