The short version:
1. Mama G has a bone marrow cancer called myelofibrosis.
2. She needs a blood stem cell donor* as soon as possible to save her life.
3. To see if you are her match, all you have to do is swab your cheeks with DKMS provided swabs.
4. Click the red REGISTER button to order your free swab kit and become our hero.
Our mom is one of the best humans on Earth and her whole purpose in life is to spread joy wherever she goes. With your help, our hope is that she can keep spreading joy for many, many years to come.
*Due to our mom’s specific condition, she needs a blood stem cell donor, not a bone marrow donor. It’s a different (and much simpler) donation process. Either way, all that’s required up front are cheek swabs.
The Whole Story:
For those who don’t know our family’s story, or who might not be familiar with all the details, you’re welcome to read on. Our mom’s journey actually began much earlier than her Myelofibrosis diagnosis in 2021. 21 whole years before that, in the year 2000, she started experiencing severe abdominal pain and ended up in the hospital. It took a while to determine the cause, but she eventually emerged with a diagnosis of Polycythemia Vera, an incurable blood cancer in which your body produces an excess of red blood cells. She was prescribed phlebotomies to thin her blood and prevent clots, and chemo drugs injected multiple times per week to manage her blood levels. She lost hair, memory, and balance. However, after years of experimentation with her medical team and the dedicated stewardship of our dad, they found a treatment plan that seemed to completely eliminate all signs of the disease. The needles and the small glass vials became a ritual performed out of habit, the reason for it scary and yet distant, like a shadowy stranger standing in the far corner of a room. And we got to pretend that everything was okay for a long time.
All the while, she did not miss a beat. The typical creative fervor with which she approached all aspects of life was only amplified, her late nights only got later, as she accelerated her pace. She worked tirelessly to spin joy for us, our family, our friends, and our schools, never knowing how much time she had left to make life feel magical for as many people as possible. She sewed or constructed outrageous Halloween costumes for us, including a Viking ship for two, a 6-foot-tall Goosebumps book and a house, and when we got too old for trick or treating she planned and executed an elaborate haunted house in our garage for years, raising money for charity. She started a copy shop at the high school to help the harried teachers running to make photocopies between periods. She designed countless t-shirts, calendars, logos, and banners for our schools for free, redesigned all of the forms for my dad’s office for fun. She orchestrated incredible birthday parties and summer hangouts by the pool, was better friends with many of our classmates than we were, and gave us access to her vast stores of art supplies to ensure we never turned in a boring school project. She taught us that we never had to settle for normal, that there was always room for magic.
21 years of borrowed time is what she got. And even now, with her new diagnosis and strict orders to take it easy, she refuses to slow down. (We even had to invent a code word that, when invoked, commands her to lie down and rest.) And now it’s our turn to do for her what she’s done for us for her entire life—work tirelessly to bring the magic back to her, and find the donor that will save her life.
For all other countries, please visit: https://swabtheworld.com/en/become-a-donor