Bone Marrow Registry

We have been overwhelmed with people offering to be screened to see if they were a match for Levi's bone marrow transplant. First of all, thank you for your selfless willingness to help out our little boy. I have tried to get a little smarter about the bone marrow testing and donation process, and here is some information.

Stephanie, Caylee, and I have all been tested. That's where they draw the line for testing for specific patients. They do not test grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even half-siblings simply because the odds of finding a specific match for that patient are pretty low. They instead will go to the bone marrow donor registry to look for a match if one is not found in the immediate family.

HOWEVER... This does not mean that your bone marrow is not needed or that you shouldn't be tested. Quite to the contrary - if you want to help Levi and patients like him, we strongly urge to you to prayerfully consider being added to the bone marrow registry. It is a great way to save lives. Here's some additional info...

One of the best places to start, especially for you Indiana residents, is This website has tons of information about donating blood, platelets, and bone marrow.

At the bottom of the page, there is a link titled "Be the Match". This page will provide you with all kinds of info on what it means to be added to the bone marrow registry.

There is a startling graphic on the page that shows the need for bone marrow donors, especially in minority patients. The likelihood of finding a match if you're caucasian is fairly high - 93%. But, the likelihood if you are African-American is scary low - only 66%. I strongly encourage any of you who meet some of these minority statuses to sign up to be a donor and be added to the bone marrow registry.

Further down on the page they list three ways to help. The first is to be added to the bone marrow registry, which is as easy as completing some paperwork and doing a cheek swab. Registration instructions are on the page. Next, you can donate financially. The process for adding someone to the registry costs about $100, which is prohibitive for many potential donors. Your financial donation could be the one that adds the right person to the registry, which in turn could help the right child win his or her battle with leukemia. The third way you can help is to host a bone marrow drive. There is contact info listed on the page if this sounds like something you may want to do.

I believe that there is a cost for some people to be added to the bone marrow registry. However, I did talk to a nurse who mentioned that if you donate platelets, you can ask to be added to the registry and they can add you for free. Not sure if this works, but definitely worth a shot!

If you do not join the bone marrow donor registry, please at least consider donating blood and/or platelets. These are just as crucial for cancer patients - Levi has had three transfusions so far and is only on day 3 of his chemo treatment. All patients, including cancer, trauma, or transplant patients, may need blood at some point. Please consider donating.

If you are outside of Indiana, a simple Google search can help you find the necessary steps for being added to the registry. Your willingness to help will save lives. If you can't find the info you need, please let me know. I would be more than happy to help you search.