Just a swab stick can save a life

2017! And yet, cancer is still not just a zodiac sign as we would all wish. It continues to invade unexpecting people of all ages. It is the pest of our times. Cancer… a word whose sound causes the shivers. I know well that I cannot do something to make it disappear. I can help though, so some people can fight to overcome it.

Two years ago, I attended a symposium on cancer. In the existing climate of distress about cancer, I found myself listening to a positive message about its cure from “Orama Elpidas” (“Vision of Hope”). This databank of volunteer potential bone marrow donors aims to collect as many donors as possible to enable as many patients as possible to find a match. It did not require a lot to convince me to become a donor, and in a few minutes, I accomplished it. I just completed a form, and gave a few swabs of saliva. So simple! Just a little swab stick was all that was needed!

I did not stop there, however. I wanted to help more. So, I volunteered for the organization, and became an active member in its efforts to help patients find a matching bone marrow donor! The work of this organization is really big… the hope they give patients, even bigger..

There is so much misinformation about cancer! People are truly ignorant about many things!  No! bone marrow is not related to the spinal cord! No! if you are a match, they will not tap your spine to take a sample. No! you are not in danger to remain paralyzed. Doctors do not wish to destroy one person to save another!  Their goal is to cure as many people as possible. The way is very simple. Much simpler than you can imagine. It is simply giving blood…giving blood that lasts a bit longer than usual can give someone else a chance to fight cancer and, why not? To win!

Etched in mind is the statement of a bone marrow donor: “Can you imagine? I am the only person in the world who can save this person,” she said, with a smile lighting up her face. Wouldn’t you like to be in a position to do that too? Yes, you too can register to be a bone marrow donor. You can…as long as you want to! Become informed… Ask… Learn… I believe it is worth it! To save even one person only, you bet it is worth it! And for someone out there, you might be the only person in the world who can save him or her.

by Chryssanthi, a volunteer at “Vision of Hope”

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