Thursday, May 20, 2010

Joy Needs Our Help!!

I'm not really big on asking for help, but something has happened recently to change that.

I didn't know about the national bone marrow registry until my dear friend Joy found out that she needed a transplant to save her life. Now I am trying to spread the word so that she and others have a chance to receive the help they need.

My husband and I met Joy more than twenty years ago, when they were first-year MBA students. I have many memories of the three of us combating the grad school hardships - endless studying, East Coast winters, being broke - with bad wine and good conversation. We stayed in touch through the years, and we are proud of how "our" Joy combined an impressive career with a life full of love, fun, and adventure. About two years ago, Joy had breast cancer, which she got through quite well with a lumpectomy, chemo & radiation. Unfortunately, she has now developed leukemia as a complication from the chemo treatments. This is a very rare complication, occurring in <1% of patients. Her only hope is a bone marrow transplant (which they currently do through donor blood -- not bone marrow -- meaning it is much less onerous on the donor that it has been in the past. If matched, you're asked to give blood several days in a row. That's it!)

Since Joy doesn't have any brothers & sisters, she has to go through the national registry. There is no match in the database at present. The chances of any given person being a match for Joy are 1:10,000 -- so there is a lot of work to do to get the word out.

We are not asking for money - we are hoping that you will consider signing up to be a possible donor. The process takes only a few minutes (We know, we did it ourselves.)

The first step in the process is to log onto the ‘Be the Match’ site. After completing the qualifying questions (toward the end of the process), enter JJ1605 into the field labeled “Promo Code”. When you complete this process, a donor testing kit will be sent to you. Once it arrives, you will simply need to swab your cheek and send it to the donor matching center. If you are identified as a potential match, you will be further tested and, ultimately, asked to give blood (NOT bone marrow) for a few days in a row (it is much the same as giving blood to the Red Cross).

For more information, please contact Kate Farley at or Mitch Toub at


Jean said...

I also want to encourage each of you to get listed. It's really important for lots of people.

Also...take a few minutes and donate blood on a regular basis. There are so many people that need blood and products from blood such as plasma.

Cornelia Read said...

Dear Sophie,

I just registered, and hope I'm a match!

xx Cornelia