May 12 09

A “Shout Out” for Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Donation!

 

heart-1-design

 

What do bone marrow/stem cell donation have to do with the above quilt photo? Absolutely nothing! Now don’t panic…this has always been a quilting blog and it will always be a quilting blog. I only rarely post about anything in my personal life. But, I had such an incredible experience last week that I just have to share it here. Fear not, though, because I promise to pepper this post with quilt pictures to make it worth your while!

maple-leaves2

 

(See…I told you I’d throw in a lot of quilt pictures! Keep reading…)

Many, many years ago, Ern and I got our tissue typing done so we could be part of the national marrow registry. For a few weeks afterward, every time the phone rang, we were just sure that it was a call telling us that one of us was a match for some unfortunate soul in need of a bone marrow transplant-we were ready to save all kinds of lives! Of course, that call never did come, and truthfully, we pretty much forgot about it. Fast forward to a few months ago, and wouldn’t you know that I finally got that call, telling me I was a preliminary match for a 32 year old man with a non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma who needed a bone marrow transplant. I went for some additional tests that showed I was a really good match for him. No date was set for anything; I was just kind of “on call,” and many weeks passed.

 

magenta-pansy

 

During this time, I had a lot of time to think about this anonymous man. I kept thinking that he could just as well have been my husband, one of my brothers, my sister, my…as you can guess, this list could just go on and on with the name of every relative I have or friend that I love. Is there anyone reading this now who doesn’t have many friends/relatives that have had to fight a battle with cancer? The point is that it really struck me how any one of us can be stricken with cancer at any time, and when it happens to a loved one, you’d do just about anything to help that person out, to make it all go away. And if you couldn’t be the one to make it all “go away,” you’d sure be praying that some stranger could. The more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt that I wanted and needed to do this. Honestly, I felt incredibly lucky, even empowered, that I could help someone in such a huge and intimate way.

 

Pansy-wallhanging

 

Then one day while I was at work, I got a phone call from the marrow registry telling me they wanted to set up a date for the donation because the transplant was scheduled for the first week in May! This was really going to happen! Those of you that are long time readers of this blog know that I work at my local community hospice. That same afternoon, two of the patients I visited were dying of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. One was many years younger than me, and the other was just a few years older than me; each of them was far too young to be dying. The whole time I was with each of them, I kept wondering, “what if someone had been able to help one of them with a transplant?” It sounds corny, but it all just made me feel more passionate about helping this man I did not even know, yet in a way, I felt so very close to him.

 

butterfly-flightpath2

 

Hematopoetic stem cells are what is transplanted in a bone marrow transplant. These big words describe some very special cells that live in the bone marrow, and have the potential to develop into all kinds of blood cells, like red blood cells, different kinds of white blood cells, and platelets. (These are different from the embryonic stem cells we read so much about-those are even MORE special because they can evolve into many things). These blood stem cells can be obtained by withdrawing marrow from a person’s hip; or by a procedure called peripheral blood stem cell donation where an individual is connected to a special machine that withdraws blood and filters off the stem cells and then returns blood back to the person’s arm; or they can be obtained from umbilical cord blood. The transplant doctor decides which route to use and for me, this was the peripheral blood stem cell donation. I’m pretty sure that currently, this is the most widely used method of obtaining stem cells and that’s kind of nice, because it’s much easier on the donor.

 

sprouts-of-sunshine-whole-quilt-finished

 

I received injections for 5 days before the procedure to stimulate my bone marrow to make millions and millions of stem cells, so many stem cells that my bone marrow couldn’t contain them and they were dumped out in my bloodstream. (That’s good, because they’re easy to harvest there!) I flew to Virginia last week and got hooked up to an apheresis machine and made my donation. The whole process, from the injections to making the donation, went perfectly. A transplant nurse coordinator guided me through the entire process and was available by phone 24 hours a day if I had questions or needed some kind of help. I felt great the entire time and was able to do all my normal activities. Honestly, the hardest part of the whole process was having to hold one of my arms straight for many hours!

 

tulips

 

Now, I don’t normally blog about my personal life because I figure that everyone’s reading this blog for quilting inspiration and I don’t want to interfere with that. But, this whole experience, being able to possibly help save someone’s life, is huge to me and I feel really great about it! Truthfully, the timing of all this was really terrible, (I mean, for crying out loud, this all happened the week before International Spring Quilt Market, and Ern and I have about 10 million things to do!), yet I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and would do it again in a minute! This entire program is built around the concept of perfect strangers reaching out to one another in a time of great need. Can you think of any more beautiful way for us to express our humanity?

yellow-scrap-flower-without-detail

 

So, I’m sharing this with you all in the hopes that maybe I can inspire some of you to sign up as potential donors and get yourselves into the national marrow registry. I meet a lot of quilters when I travel and teach, and quilters have big hearts! Let’s face it, we keep churning out these quilts so we can wrap people with love, so who would make better marrow donors than quilters?! Each of us, in our lifetime, is given a few special opportunities to really make a profound difference in someone’s life, and this is one opportunity you will not have unless you get yourself registered as a donor. Think of how you would feel if you just learned that your son or daughter had leukemia or a lymphoma and his/her only chance for survival was a bone marrow transplant. That’s a pretty heart-breaking thought, isn’t it? This is your opportunity to “pay it forward,” and help another mom out there who might be about to lose her child. Think about it.

During the month of June, you’ll be able to get tissue typed (this involves only swabbing the inside of your cheek with a cotton swab) in the privacy of your own home and best of all, it will be FREE! I don’t know the details yet, but I’ll post details and links later on this month when I learn them. In the meantime, please give this some thought. Remember, you just might save someone’s life!

If you’ve gotten this far in the post and you’re still reading, my thanks and gratitude go out to you and as a reward, I’m going to offer a give-away of a free DVD of your choice, (this could be a single DVD or a 2-disc set…the winner gets to decide!). Anyone who posts a comment to this post before 9am on Wed 5/20 will be eligible for that free DVD drawing! Good luck, and thanks again for reading about this!

 

sunscreen-whole-top

If you’re interested and want more info about bone marrow donation, please go here. Check out my blog later this month for more details on registering in the “Be The Match” program for free, and in the meantime, say a special prayer for my bone marrow buddy!

P.S. We leave for the International Spring Quilt Market tomorrow, and I’ll try to get some pics of all the quilting action! Any orders placed in our store after 10:00 am Wed 5/13 won’t ship out until Tues 5/19/09. Enjoy your week!

144 Comments

  1. Lyn Duhig Says:

    Inspiring story. In fact, I’m inspired to hunt out the Australian equivalent of the Bone Marrow Donation registry.
    Thanks, Lyn (Kinglake, Australia).

  2. Di Says:

    Patsy, what a wonderful thing you’ve done! I’m in the registry but have never been called, yet. Maybe someday.

    I do give blood also, that is something else we all can do that will help people.

    Have fun at Market!

  3. Marti Says:

    Patsy, what a wonderful gift you have given. The pictures of the quilt were inspiring. Love your work.

  4. Sally Says:

    Thank you for the description of your experience as a donor. Your story was actually very reassuring for those of us considering becoming a donor. Living with two insulin-dependent diabetics, hopefully there will soon be a cure for this disease. Thank you again. And again–your quilts are fantastic. Sally

  5. Norma Chapman Says:

    Thank you so much for being a donor to a complete stranger. Seventeen years ago a young mum in Philadelphia went through the process in order to give my 14 year old daughter a chance to live even though we live on the other side of the world. I can well remember the feelings I had for this wonderful person at the time and even to this day. Reading about your experience and thoughts will stay with me.
    God Bless You
    Norma

  6. Maggi Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this personal part of your life. What you have done is so selfless and because of you another person gets to have a second shot at life. I will be making enquiries about joining a register in this country – such a little act but one which can have a huge effect. Maggi

  7. Fulvia Says:

    Patsy,
    I would say that the timing was absolutely perfect for this! Good for you for sharing this with us. I am on the list and waiting. Thank you.

  8. Sheila Says:

    Thank you for taking (and sharing) that journey, Patsy. What a fantastic way to give. Prayers are sent forth for both of you!

    (Gorgeous quilting pictures, too.)

  9. Sally Bramald Says:

    Well done you!!!!
    I offered a kidney to friend but unfortunately it was not a match.
    Here in the UK it seems far more common for people to donate all sorts of stuff.
    For example, no one EVER gets paid to donate blood, it just something people do.

  10. Anya Says:

    What a wonderful thing you did! It proves that there is a lot of good in the human race.

  11. Jeanette Gillings Says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us Patsy… it’s a wonderful thing that you have done. I hope all goes well for that young man.

  12. Anne Says:

    I’m happy to hear that there is going to be an even easier way to join the registry. Hopefully, that will mean many more good outcomes for those needing transplants.

  13. carol sloan Says:

    Patsy – I had tears in my eyes reading this post. You are such a kind and loving woman.

  14. Sue Says:

    Thank You so much for the info and inspiration. I’m glad I read your blog this morning!

  15. Sue P Says:

    Thank you for this post! I’m one of those people who has always meant to get around to registering as a potential donor but never bothered to find out how. Now I will. Can’t wait to share this with my neighborhood mom groups to see how many others I can get to register. My goal is to get ten people to register. Time to send out some e-mails.

  16. Tina Says:

    Thank you for the post and thank you for helping someone you don’t even know. How inspiring and giving. I do donate blood and have meant to do this-

    I love the quilt pictures peppered through! Nice touch to keep your audience reading!

    Tina

  17. Anita Heady Says:

    Amazing story, Patsy! I’ll check out their site. Have a great time at Quilt Market (is it in Pittsburgh this year?).

  18. LuAnn in Oregon Says:

    Hi Patsy…….as always I leave your blog feeling inspired!
    Thank you for sharing your life and your talents with those of here in blog land.
    LuAnn in Oregon
    http://luannkessi.blogspot.com/

  19. Ann Says:

    Thanks for telling us the details. I always thought that it was a lot harder to donate than it is. I’ll consider signing up – even though I’m needle phobic!

  20. MichelleB Says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Will you ever get to meet the man that you helped?

  21. Patsy Thompson Says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Good question! I honestly don’t know. The whole process is anonymous to protect both the donor and the recipient. Sometimes, the donor can get a really brief update at 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year. All that depends upon where the recipient has the transplant performed as some centers will give out an update and others won’t. I was told that if the recipient is outside of the U.S., it’s hard to get any updated info. (My guy is somewhere within the U.S.) After one year, if both donor and recipient want to try and connect, they will give each person the other’s contact info. So, I’ll have to wait and see!
    Patsy

  22. Jean Says:

    What a great inspirational story! My husband and I have both been on the registry list for close to 10 years now, but we’ve never been called. Last week I was very excited about getting a piece of mail from them…however it was just a form to update our contact information. Great job…congratulations! I’m so glad that you chose to post about it on the blog and raise awareness!

  23. Sandy Says:

    Patsy, you’ve done a wonderful, selfless thing and undoubtedly inspired many of us to register on the chance that we could help someone else. :)

  24. Cory Says:

    Patsy, thank you for sharing this story and your feelings about it. This is something I have thought about doing and then I get busy and forget and don’t do anything about it. Your post has given me the reminder that I NEED to do this NOW and not later. Thank you for that. May God bless you. Cory

  25. Sequoia Says:

    You had me at hello! Thanks for sharing this Patsy. I don’t like medical procedures, but I will take the test and get signed up for the register.
    take care,
    Sequoia

  26. lindaschiffer Says:

    What an inspiring story! Also beautiful photos of quilts. :)

    Hope Market goes well for you and thanks for sharing the info — I’m sure many more folks would be happy to donate with your story in your mind.

    :) Linda

  27. Celine in UK Says:

    Congratulations on going through the procedure and giving a stranger a chance with life. I read your story with lots of interest as I lost my Dad to lymphoma and leukemia 5 years ago and yesterday, the day of your post was his birthday, he would have been 58, far too young not to be with us anymore. I wished I could have been a match for him but couldn’t be tested. I haven’t signed up for the bone marrow register here in UK but have been giving my blood. I will investigate to sign up for the register as well. Thanks for reminiding me how important it is.
    Hope you’ll have a great time at the market.
    One last work, your quilting is absolutely gorgeous.

  28. Svanhild Says:

    Great story. I can understand you wanting to share it. I hope your bone marrow buddy will be ok.
    The quilts are gorgeous as always… although I probably would have read the story anyway.

  29. Darla Says:

    Patsy,

    What a terrific blog entry! You are so thoughtful to give of yourself for the hope of the stranger. Hope it all goes well.

    Also enjoy market!

    P.S. Love your DVDs too. You have a great sense of humor and style :)

  30. Alice (BCQuilter) Says:

    Oh Patsy, how inspirational.

    A number of years ago, I ran my own computer business, and I was amazed at how many of my clients had cancer in various forms. I was awed by their strength. I was not in a position to donate financially to several causes, including our own Bone Marrow Society. I did the only thing I could think of. I participated in a head shave for Bone Marrow Research. I was the only female signed up. I didn’t do a lot of canvassing for pledges, but I was able to raise just under $1000. My hair was below my shoulders. I was also attending a Home Show to promote my business. It was odd, doing half the show with hair, and the other half without. There were people who have known me for years, who did not recognize me. I explained to a friend, who was a client, who also had cancer, that I was doing it for her and many of my other clients.

    I fully understand your passion and elation. Thank you for sharing your experience, and I hope all goes well for the young man. Do you receive updates about his condidtion?

    Bravo Zulu! (Naval term for Well done)

    -Alice

  31. Belinda Says:

    Thanks so much for leading the way on this and encouraging us to follow. I had never even considered it before but will now. Belinda

  32. Kathy Says:

    What a wonderful act of kindness. I’m sure the young man and his family are so very grateful. Please keep us up to date on his progress, if you have the opportunity to do so. Have a wonderful time at Quilt Market!

  33. Judy in Houston Says:

    Once again you have been an inspiration for me and so many others. I have an up close and personal experience with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. My husband has it and has been through many procedures including the bone marrow transplant. He was lucky enough to be his own donor. Otherwise, he would have had to depend on someone special like you. He is now in remission.
    You are one special multi-talented lady. Yes, you are in my prayers along with all others who give in so many ways. Keep up your good works. You have earned your wings with this deed. You as all volunteers make my heart happy.

  34. Linda James Says:

    My husband and I registered many years ago when a fireman in Charlotte was in need. Maybe someday we’ll get a call. You’re doing a good thing. God bless.

  35. Sue Says:

    Very inspiring. I was interested to learn that this can be done through the blood – getting bone marrow from the hip sounds very painful.

  36. Eldrid Says:

    I am impressed at you and others who register as donors, even though it could mean going through a possibly painful procedure on your part. Being able to save someone’s life is great, though. I hope the young man makes it, and that many more can be helped because of your post here.
    I tried to register as blood donor here some years ago, but was turned down because of my RA. I guess I will be making quilts instead :-)

  37. Shelly Says:

    Eloquently put and beautifully illustrated. You’re AWESOME!

  38. Linda Says:

    Thank you for sharing such an inspirational journey. Loved reading the post, and the quilt pictures were wonderful!

  39. Elaine Says:

    I just found a new blog to follow. First, although I loved the pictures of the quilting, the story was very heart felt and I would have done exactly the same thing. It could have been anyone you saved. You are a HERO!!!!!!

  40. Nancy Says:

    This is my first visit to your website. I heard about it on the TQS Member Forum. Your quilting is beyond beautiful and I think it’s wonderful that you used your talent to share about your bone marrow donation experience. Yes, we all knew or loved someone who lost their battle with cancer. Why shouldn’t you share this way? Celebrities use their fame to get out messages on matters that are important to them. You answered a lot of questions, but also generated interest to seek more information. You also may have just helped save more lives.

  41. Bonnie S Says:

    God Bless You Patsy!! First time I have been to your site. I too was referred thru the TQS Member Forum. Thank you for all the information and the encouragement. I have been reading about all the wonderful things that are being done with “Repair Stem Cells” or adult stem cells from the sources you listed. There are about 72 different diagnoses that are being treated with these stem cells with benefits AND NO TUMORS! All this research is being done outside of the USA because all our money is going to embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to produce beneficial effects for anyone and routinely results in tumor formation. Sorry I’ll get off my soapbox. It just pains me to no end to see money going to waste and people suffering when there are better, more viable options available.
    THANK YOU AGAIN!

  42. Sue Says:

    Wow, this was an inspirational story. I can see how you would feel lifted up by giving a gift like this.

  43. Pam Says:

    A true quilter. Always concerned about her fellow men. Thank you.

  44. Kimberly Mason Says:

    I used to think that you were among the most generous of quilting teachers and artists, now I KNOW that you are THE most generous. Thank you for….everything!

  45. vivian Says:

    Thank you for sharing such a profound piece of your private life, once more, you are an inspiration.

  46. Lindsay Says:

    Hi Patsy,
    Thank you for sharing and explaining how bone marrow transplants work. I am so pleased that at long last you have been able to help somebody and the happiness you felt came through in your blog. I wish that young man all the best for the future and the many more who will benefit from this wonderful procedure. Hope you are having a great time at the International Spring Quilt Market – would love to be there.
    Kind regards,
    Lindsay in Switzerland

  47. Linda Egan Says:

    Way to go Patsy! We have a friend whose 25 year-old son is undergoing a bone marrow transplant this week. He was fortunate that his sister was a perfect match, but for all those who don’t have a relative match, the register is a vital tool for them. I will say a prayer for your recipient and his family. Have a great time at Market.

  48. Mary Johnson Says:

    What a great feeling this must be!
    I’ve been registered for many years and had a preliminary letter once but it never went further. I hope you inspire others to sign up – my FIL and grandmother both died of Leukemia.

  49. Katye Harris Says:

    Wow…reading your amazing story really had me thinking. What an amazing thing for you both to do. I am going now to read more about the donor program! Thanks for the inspiration – both quilting and life!

  50. JOY Says:

    wow! what a journey :) I’ll be patiently waiting for info on the testing/typing in June as this interests me very much!

  51. Becky Says:

    Hey Patsy, What a terrific gift. I did not know there was such a thing and I will have to check it out. Loved the quilt pics too

  52. Beverly Haley Says:

    Thank you for doing this. For anyone who has had cancer, our thanks are straight from the heart.

  53. Carol Schon Says:

    This article was a wonderful witness to the power we have to help others with something we have been given. I donate blood every eight weeks and always feel good that the gift I have been given can help save someone else’s life.

  54. rosanne bédard Says:

    Wow!
    I think that you were among the most generous of quilting teachers and artists, now I KNOW that is because you are THE most generous person also. Many years ago I received a bad match of blood transfusion and since that time I can’t give any part of this body of mine! Now avery time I read someting like this, I told myself; if only I could!
    Now, dear Patsy I pratice de EKG you have the gentleness to teach me and I pray that someday I will have chance to go at seminar.
    Thank you so much to exist

  55. Kim Thomas Says:

    Patsy-

    I just returned from Houston, TX where my “little” brother (6+ft, 200lb)is preparing for a June stem cell transplant in his battle with multiple myeloma. Though I have offered blood to be screened in order to be a donor, so far they are planning to use his own stem cells. I had not thought about being on a national list for bone marrow donation but I am definitely interested and will talk with my brother’s docs at MD Anderson about how to do that. MD-A is an amazing place and I was in awe as I went there last week.
    Your story hit me between the eyes and I appreiciated knowing about this. My prayers for your donor-buddy will be made alongside those for my brother. Thanks for sharing

    Your quilts pics are truly scumptious.

  56. Caryn Says:

    What a wonderful gift! and who knows how many lives could be saved by your post as well if it inspires readers to register? Your post and some of the comments brought me to tears. I am going to follow your link to find out how to register.

  57. Margaret Says:

    Hello,
    First of all, just let me thank you for your donation. My best friend, who is gone now had a transplant years ago and she had many years after that. This is an awesome thing you have done and I know it was not easy. Your quilt pictures with the story were wonderful. Your quilting and colors are exquisite. I really enjoyed your blog and Micki has sent me. I really enjoy her too. Thanks again,
    Margaret

  58. Charlotte Says:

    I love your website and visit often. Thanks for sharing about being a bone marrow donor. I knew very little about this, and thanks to you, I understand more now.

  59. Penny Says:

    Thank you for the post about this important subject. You have inspired me to get on the registry myself.

  60. jean spillane Says:

    you have shown us just how easy it is for one person to make a difference, Thanks…

  61. Yvonne Morgan Says:

    Patsy, what a great story. I’ve been a blood donor for many years and was on the bone marrow donation list as well. I was diagnosed with cancer back in September so had to come off the lists, but I hope that my donations have helped people in similar situations.

  62. Dotty Says:

    Patsy, you’ve beautifully expressed exactly the same feelings I felt about the “gift” of being able to give to someone else. I was registered many years, and regret never receiving that special call before reaching 60 and becoming ineligible. At least I can still donate blood and help others in that small way. Thank you for sharing this special story, which has inspired and enlightened many. Your donation may help many more than just your own recipeint.

  63. nina Says:

    I am disappointed to learn that someone over 60 might not be eligible for donor registry. I will check our local Bruce Denniston bone marrow assoc.for info. But I am pleased that there is more than one way to extract the donor tissue needed. This would perhaps encourage more people when they see it is so easy.
    Thanks Patsy- and i like to see non quilty postings too- as they affect your life and your quilting in some way.

  64. Miri Says:

    Bless you! I’ve been a registered donor since the early 1990s…I was called once for a second testing but I wasn’t a good enough match to proceed like you were.

  65. Jessica Hartman Says:

    Patsy-God bless you! This is a wonderful thing you have done. Not many people can say they saved a life! What an inspiring post.

    btw, your quilts are gorgeous. I only hope to be half as good as you someday.

  66. Karen Martin Says:

    You are inspirational not only in quilting but as a person!!! I have a wonderful friend who is waiting for a call for a kidney transplant. I never was the type to consider donating, but I have since lost an aunt to lung cancer who did have a transplant, my mother to cancer, so its time I step up to the plate and make myself available in some way. I wish the best to you and your new friend in need!!

  67. Shirley Goodwin Says:

    I’m delighted that you are a donor. I lost my first daughter to leukemia 25 years ago – she didn’t get that far, unfortunately. Well done to publicise this. I give blood regularly because I was grateful to all the people who were donors for my daughter while she was ill.

  68. Kathy W. Says:

    Patsy, what a wonderful opportunity for you. I’m so glad you were called and I will think only good thoughts for your “buddy”. My best friend has been living with leukemia for the past couple of years but is not a candidate for a transplant. Your post has given me the boost I need to register. If I can’t help her there must be someone else that I might be able to help. Have a good time at quilt market and thanks for sharing such beautiful photos…Kathy
    rky_mtn@hotmail.com

  69. Cher Says:

    Patsy, It does feel good to pay it forward doesn’t it. I give blood regularily. I’ve always thought if someone can use something I am able to give they are welcome to it. My dad and I signed up to be donors years ago. He was a match once but I’ve been yet to be called.
    Have a great week
    Cher

  70. Carla Says:

    I was led to your blog by Judy L. and feel so very fortunate to have read about your experience. I have a statement on my driver’s license stating that I’m an organ donor after I die but I hadn’t really thought about offering my body to do what I can to help someone during my lifetime until reading your post. I’ll be checking in to that now. Thanks so much to you and others like you!

  71. DonnaC Says:

    Patsy, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. You’ve inspired me, too, to check into registering on the donor list.
    And, thanks for peppering the quilt pix in, too!!

  72. Jean in NB Canada Says:

    Hi
    what a wonderful inspiration you are – in both quilting and in your life – I sure hope lots of quilters sign up at the Bone Marrow Registry – I am too old now, but gave blood all my life and my hubby gave plasma until medications make that impossible. Thanks for printing your story. Hugs, Jean

  73. Elaine Says:

    Thank you for your story. I have thought about doing this too, but I’ve failed at donating blood, they couldn’t get enough to fill the bag, but maybe I should check this out anyway. Thanks for the encouragement.

  74. Karen L Says:

    What a wonderful experience you have shared……this is the ultimate in pay it forward. Thank you for the give away.

    Karen L

  75. Janice Says:

    hugs to your and your dh for signing up for this and then following through on the opportunity to help someone. my niece needed a kidney transplant a few years ago and it was a donor who helped her out. i couldn’t donate b/c i was pregnant at the time, but am on a registry now. may your goodwill come back to you 10-fold.

  76. Michelle F. Says:

    Loved reading about your experience. DH is in the registry and is a preliminary match for someone and is waiting to hear if he is needed. What a wonderful story and thank you for sharing. It is nice to read something so uplifting.

  77. Marilyn Says:

    I signed up to be a bone marrow donor about 18 years ago and have been waiting for the call ever since. I was like you in the beginning, thinking every time the phone rang it was ‘the call’. I know that one day I may get the chance to help someone too. Thank you for the gift you gave this man and thank you for the gift you give us quilters! I have your first DVD and love it. Thanks for the chance to win another one. They are all on my Christmas list this year :)

  78. Judy D Says:

    What an inspiring story. Will you ever learn of this young man that you have helped? Thank you for sharing and caring.
    Now I need to go back and look at the quilts. :-)

  79. DebrafromMD Says:

    Judy L sent me here from her blog. What a wonderful story! I’m going to look into getting typed for the registry. I already know my blood is a good match for cancer patients and preemies because I don’t have a antibody the most people commonly carry. Perhaps I can help in an even bigger way.

  80. Quinta da Quilter Says:

    Wow! What an amazing post! I am looking forward to the details in June to volunteer too!

  81. TerryG Says:

    Thank you for telling your amazing story. Lately I’ve read many heartbreaking stories on the blogs I follow. It is so hard to read these difficult stories and feel powerless to help. It is wonderful to hear an uplifting story that gives me hope that WE ALL can do something to make a difference.

  82. Cheryl Mc Says:

    Great story, way to go Patsy!!! You are an inspiration to all. I did not realize that match typing was so easy. I will look into it today, I really would hate the thought of a child like my grandchildren or anybody that I love not have every possible chance.

  83. Rona Duncan Says:

    Patsy,

    Have admired your quilting abilties for a while now. Now you have bumped up my image. Thanks for doing all you do as a bone marrow donor and quilter.

  84. Karen K Says:

    What a tremendous gift you have given-the gift of life!
    Thanks you!

  85. Marlene Says:

    I have a dear friend who has lymphoma and who has already had a stem cell transplant. A bone marrow transplant may be in her future so your post touched my heart. blessings, marlene

  86. Patricia Lines Says:

    Patsy,

    Your quilting is awesome! You story shows you are just as awesome!

  87. Julie Says:

    Patsy,
    I have loved your inspiration for me in trying free motion quilting. Thank you again for your inspiration in giving such a wonderful and perfect gift for this young man. God has used you in a mighty way, what an honor, and I’m sure He has great plans for this man.

  88. Denise ~Justquiltin Says:

    Well said! I’ve been on the list for several years and just haven’t matched anyone yet.

  89. Veronica Says:

    Patsy, you are truly a wonderful person,inside and out. Kudos to you and your hubby. How special you are to give of yourself like this.
    BTW, your quilting isn’t shabby,either. God bless you.
    Veronica

  90. Carol Campbell Says:

    I was directed to this post just now from Patchwork Times, Judy Laquidara, and what I gift I received this morning just by reading this post. Just last week a friend was diagnosed with this same cancer and has been given a grim outlook. Such a giving spirit you have and am sure just by posting this personal message, there will be others who will take your inspiration and register…..and perhaps one day get that call that will help another. God bless you! And now I get to go back to your website and see what else is there….I am just in awe of the pictures shown throughout this post, and not on a longarm! I want to get to my machine and play just looking at those pictures!!! You’ve brightened my Tuesday already!

  91. Moneik Says:

    What an inspirational story!

  92. Diane Says:

    I have been in the registry for about 6 years and have never been called. I agree with you, how absolutely wonderful it is to have the opportunity to help someone. I hope I never get called, meaning I hope we find a cure, but if I am called I will be proud to do what I can.

  93. Jean Says:

    You have inspired me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What a wonderful selfless act!!
    I will be watching for more info on this, I too want to have the opportunity to help someone. I too would be proud to help out someone fighting a battle with cancer.

  94. Cynthia Says:

    Thank-you for sharing your story & possibly inspiring someone to get involved — I would be marching to the nearest office myself, if I were healthy. So thank-you!

  95. Bonnie Tester Says:

    Patsy, you are an inspiration. I love your quilts. Thank you.

  96. Laurel Says:

    Pasty, I’m already registered and am waiting for that call. Like you, I believe in helping people in life or death situations. I’m glad to hear about June being a free month because I have a couple of friends who are interested but who didn’t want to pay for the typing.

    Thanks again for all you do.
    Laurel

  97. Susan Calitz Says:

    Judy L led me to your blog.
    What a wondeful gift you have, not just the quilting but the giving.
    Quilting hugs and blessings from South Africa
    Susan

  98. Judy Sinclair Says:

    What a wonderful gift to give.
    Hugs from Lincoln Park Mi

  99. Judy Sinclair Says:

    What a wonderful gift to give.
    Hugs from Lincoln Park Mi. Great blog.

    Judy S

  100. bingo~bonnie Says:

    wow – that is awesome that you were a match!

    For a short time I worked with a lady who’s little boy died from Lukemia. Working with her and hearing her talk about her experience changed my life and made me appreciate motherhood more.

    It’s been at least 5 or 6 years since my husband and I met for our lunch break to go to our local hospital when they were doing a drive to get more people to register as doners.. a simple swab from the cheek and draw some blood and we were done. :)

    Every year we get an envelope asking if our contact information is still the same… no call yet – but like you I often wonder if I ever will… and now more than ever – since I became a mother, I pray if any o fmy kids were ever dignosed, that someone out there would offer to help.

    What a beautiful post – thanks for taking the time to share it – I’m so glad JudyL gave the link to click over and read! ;)

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  101. Barbara Walsh Says:

    Patsy. Love your story, love your quilting. Last year for Mother’s Day I asked my husband to join the bone marrow registry with me. So easy and now we just wait for our phone call.
    Linked over from Judy L. she mentioned you quilt with a pfaff. I am a new pfaff owner and hoping to one day quilt those tops I keep making. So much to learn!!!

  102. Diana Wilson Says:

    I , like many others, have come from Judy L’s site. You are correct about how good it feels to really help someone. You probably saved a life. God Bless!

  103. Carol G. Says:

    Your generosity (and quilting!) is inspiring. I’m so glad I found your site through Judy L.’s blog. I’m enjoying spending some time with you!

  104. susan r Says:

    This is my first time reading your blog. I followed the link from Judy’s site and now have to go back and read older posts. Your quilt pictures are very impressive but your generosity in donating stem cells is even more impressive! That is a wonderful gift you are giving to a total stranger. I signed up for the donor list some years ago and have never been called. Good luck with the procedure and my prayers will be with you and the receipent.
    Susan R.

  105. Karen S Says:

    What a wonderful gift you have given!! Truely an inspiring story.

  106. Linda Says:

    Wow, what an impact! I thought bone marrow donation was a horribly painful procedure. Will you get info on your new “friend”? Probably not, but it would be nice to know how he is doing

  107. Mary Jo Says:

    I would love to win one of your DVDS. I have several and LOVE them.
    I hope many people will be inspired by it to register with the bone marrow registry.

  108. Kari Says:

    Many blessings to you and thanks for sharing both your talents and your heart!

  109. Mariel Says:

    Bone marrow is truly a gift of life. What a wonderful feeling to know you have saved a life! May God bless you for your wonderful act of kindness. I hope many others will follow your example.

  110. Kristie Says:

    Patsy – Please post the information about the free swabbing. I’d definitely do it!

  111. Deb S Says:

    Thanks for sharing ! When I was much younger, I worked in the Atlantic City casinos. I wasn’t married, didn’t have children, had no cares in the world. Then there was a bone marrow donor drive. Out of the 100′s and 100′s of people that worked, only 5 of us signed up. To thank us, Donald Trump sent us via limo complete with snacks, soda bar, the works. We got to take an entire day off work (with pay) and it really didn’t hurt one bit. I’m assuming that if there is ever a match, they’ll be able to track me down pretty easily – but I guess I should check into it since my name has changed. Donald Trump might be a pretty hard boss to work for, but he has a huge heart of gold as well.

  112. Linda D Says:

    I really learned a lot from your post I look forward to learning how I can register.

  113. Marla Southers Says:

    I came her from Judy’s Patchwork Times and was honored to be able to read what you have been doing. You are a true inspiration. I have been a nurse for …let’s just say more years than I want to count and have worked with many cancer patients. My own sister in law is currently going thru this same horrible disease and will be getting bone marrow transplants too. I am thinking who every the person is who has donated for her could be a person just like you. Thank you!

  114. Cherie Moore Says:

    They had a drive for the bone marrow registry at Washington University Medical School in St Louis where I worked. Since it was free, I signed up and like you, it’s been years and I’d almost forgotten about it until I read your blog. Maybe my chance will come soon.

  115. Cherie Moore Says:

    They had a drive for the bone marrow registry at Washington University Medical School in St Louis where I work. Since it was free, I signed up and like you, it’s been years and I’d almost forgotten about it until I read your blog. Maybe my chance will come soon.

  116. Laurie Stone Says:

    Thanks for posting this I will look for the information about the June registry.

  117. Kay Says:

    I registered years ago, but was never called. Alas, I’m too old now to donate, but have always wished that I had been called.

  118. Meredith P Says:

    I registered years ago, but have never gotten the call. Also I donate blood. Thanks for writing about this important issue. And have fun at the market. Hope your donee does well!

  119. Sharon Engel Says:

    I have a cousin that just passed away from non-Hodgkins Lymth. He was only 54 and none of us matched him. Hard to believe. Thank you for helping one person. He will be grateful.

    Sharon in Colorado

  120. Joanne Says:

    I was typed years ago like you and am still waiting for that call — but I thank you personally for doing this. My son has brain cancer and cannot be helped by marrow donations, but I’ve seen other brain cancer patients that have been helped by platelet donation — and I do the apheresis about every other month when the blood bank calls. I like to think I help someone get through a tough time and maybe ease the discomfort a little bit.

  121. Carmen Says:

    Wow, what a wonderful thing you did for a complete stranger. I had a kidney transplant 2 1/2 years ago. Luckily my sister was able to be my donor. Organ, tissue, blood donors are heroes. YOU ARE A HERO!!!!

  122. quiltmom( Anna) Says:

    Hi Patsy,
    Thanks for sharing your story- Your work in this area is very much appreciated. I am sure that your help with this important cause is making a difference.
    Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,
    Anna

  123. Howdy Says:

    I registered in 1996 and last week I received a letter from the National Registry requesting I update my contact information since I moved last year. I would hate to think I had missed an opportunity to help because they couldn’t find me.

    Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging folks to register.

  124. Suzette Harris/swooze Says:

    How wonderful of you. My hubby is on the transplant list for a liver. The list isn’t that long for a major metropolitan area and I always wonder what if…. What if more people donated their organs. I will watch for your post and check into donating. Thanks for the inspiration.

  125. Sherry Says:

    I have always wanted to get on the National Registry but have never been able to do it because of the cost involved. Since it is free for the month of June, I would like to get registered. Will look for more information when you can post it. I have donated blood several times when I could and now try to donate every
    two months. Thank you for your generosity to a stranger and the opportunity for all of your blog readers and fellow quilters to do the same.

  126. Barbara Green Says:

    Patsy, I have a friend who’s alive because of a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant, so my hat is off to you for your donation.

    Barb in MI

  127. Terry D. Says:

    Very inspiring story. I like it when you add a little personal information to your blog.

  128. Tracey Brown Says:

    Oh gosh, what an incredible feeling that must be! My Dad has stage 4 cancer right now and when he was diagnosed last week the first thing I said was “find out if bone marrow transplant is a good option, and I will do it”, but sadly, not an option for my dad. However, DH and I have both decided to register as bone marrow donors. So I’m happy to hear that I can register in June without having to pay the fee, and I will definitely be watching your posts for the details!

  129. floribunda Says:

    thanks for this post — I’m so glad you did this and that you wrote about it!

  130. Sheila Says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Patsy. As I read your your story it occurred to me that most of us are suffering from ‘brain overload’ and must be reminded that we can do this, and it may really help someone. I am going to contact the bone marrow National Registry and ask if they schedule any bone marrow drives/testing, similar to the Red Cross Blood Drives. People will participate if they aware of the event, the location is convenient and the cost reasonable. Blood drives held at workplaces are extremely successful. Although this may not be an innovative approach I can’t think of a better way to remind each other.

  131. Lisa Says:

    I’ve been on the registry for years but haven’t been called yet. I was a pediatric oncology nurse for 8 years and took care of many children having transplants and I guarantee there is a familly very grateful to you. Good job!! Gorgeous quilt too!

  132. Deb Says:

    Thank you for doing it. and for posting the site.

    I was once called but they could not accept mine, due to my being extremely obese. I have since lost over 150 lb but I did not know how to get back on the list. Thank you

  133. Marge Says:

    Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. I have some idea of how you felt. A very close friend of my son, age 24, had lupus which had destroyed her kidneys. I offered to go for testing to see if I was compatible, but I wasn’t. Melissa went on to have a transplant, and she’s doing super! The donation people saved my information so that I could be called if they have a need. What started out as something I would do for a friend of my son now is much more involved. I am proud of being on the list.

  134. Sarah Norman Says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!

  135. Kathy Luhn Says:

    What an inspiration you are! Thank you for telling your story! And your quilts are absolutely gorgeous.

  136. Sue Ellen Romanowski Says:

    Bravo Patsy! What an inspirational story.
    You looked great at market, full of energy with the big smile we have grown to love. I got the new feathers 2 video and began watching it this morning – another great one.
    Thank You!

  137. Darlene B Says:

    Wow, what a story….my nephew actually had non-Hodgkins lymphoma a couple years ago and is doing great. I think I will check out the link about getting on the registry. Thanks so much!

  138. Sarah Vee Says:

    Judy sent me here! I don’t even care if I’ve missed the cutoff for the giveaway (a great one though). Thank you for sharing this story. Thank you for all the effort of generously giving of yourself – even if events unfold in the busiest pre-market season. I love to hear about ‘good’ news – where humanity prevails! Thanks again for sharing. I loved the quilt photos too.

  139. Dorothy Says:

    It is 12:00 noon MDT, but that is okay, as I would still post if I was a week late! I have been on the registry for about 10 years and no calls yet. Maybe someday!

  140. Mary Stori Says:

    I see lots of folks are posting…..beyond the giveaway date……this just proves what big hearts quilters have. We really do care about each other. From someone who also donated stem cells I want to encourage all of you to get tested and give the chance of life to someone!

  141. Patty Schroder Says:

    Loved your quilt photos. God bless you and Ernie. I have all your DVDs and I watch them over and over. Thanks for your encouragement, still practicing!!

  142. jo anne Says:

    God Bless You and your Stranger! If I thought your instructional dvd’s were inspirational and instilled in me to quilt my own quilts, you can imagine my surprise to see your blog and to shed tears of gratitude and humbleness at the selflessness to your stranger. Prayers to you both.

  143. Linda B. Says:

    How fortunate for you and the young man in need that you were registered! Bless you a million times over!

  144. Marrow-thon! « Says:

    [...] marrow and writes about the importance of marrow donation far more eloquently than I ever could. It’s well worth a read. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Not Tested Yet? Community Bone Marrow Donor Drive [...]