The man pictured is my father. In late March of this year, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. This type of leukemia is a cancer that affects his bone marrow and leads to the rapid overproduction of abnormal white blood cells in the marrow which affects the production of normal blood cells.
He had felt fatigued for a time prior to being diagnosed and attributed it to being old. However, when he couldn’t carry a quart paint can ten feet without being exhausted, he decided to go to the ER. He was admitted to the hospital and within a week was diagnosed and was going through his first round of chemo. He was in the hospital for 30 days.
He is home now and has just finished his third round of chemo.
The plan, this summer, is for him to go to Portland and live there for four months while receiving bone marrow transplants at OHSU, a university and hospital in northern Oregon.
However, we have hit a big snag.
His siblings were tested for a match in bone marrow and none of them could donate. There were also no matches in the national bone marrow registry, which is highly unusual.
I, myself, might be a match and I’m waiting to hear back to hear if I am. In the meantime(because I had to fudge my weight to be eligible), I’m looking to gain the 15 pounds I need to be able to donate.
However, I still am not ideal because I am female-bodied and marrow from a male-bodied individual is much preferred in my father’s case.
Now I have a favor to ask some of you.
Because I might not be a match, and there is no match in the registry, I want to ask anyone who wishes to help to be tested.
It’s very easy; you go to BeTheMatch.org, sign up for an account, and request to be tested for Terry DePiero. You can request to be tested for just him, or to be entered in the Registry where you can to anyone that you match.
They send you a kit in the mail where you swab the inside of your cheeks and you send it back. You’ll receive an e-mail or phone call if you match. That’s it.
There are some prerequisites to donating:
-Must be under 60
-Must be over 125 pounds
-Must have had no major illnesses in the past five years
-Must not have had any form of cancer ever
-Male-bodied(This is not a requirement, but it is preferred)
If you end up being a match, you receive shots in an out-patient procedure that force your body to overproduce marrow. I’ve heard it likened to having the flu but it is only temporary.
It’s a cliche, but my dad is my hero. He is one of the most honest, hard-working, selfless, intelligent men I feel so privileged to know, and I consider myself so incredibly lucky that he ended up being my dad. He has hardly been sick a day in his life and the shock of finding out he has leukemia is enough to bring me to tears at the slightest reminder. He has the greatest attitude about this, joking he looks more like Walter White than Nathan Fillion(he has the Mistah White beard now).
I’m reaching out to anyone who may want to help because I don’t want to lose my dad. He is a good man and the best father anyone could ever have. So many people look up to him and so many who want to help, but this is something I need help with. He isn’t able to work for at least another two years but it isn’t money we need. I love my dad and I just want him to meet my children and see me commit to my partner, and I want to see him grow old in comfort and not have to suffer any more than he already has.
So please, if you are able to, I implore you to apply and request to for my dad. If you want to sign up for the registry as well, I would be excited about that as well since there are so many people who need marrow and there aren’t enough people in the registry.
If you can’t or don’t want to, please reblog and pass this on. I want this to reach as many people as humanly possible and it would mean so much to me if you could do that.
I really appreciate it, guys.