Today I decided to get myself on the bone marrow donors register for the Anthony Nolan Trust. It's not something I'd really thought of doing before, but after being told of a sign up in the University of Glasgow med school I thought I'd check out what it was about. It's not as light a decision to make as just giving blood as the procedure to donate bone marrow is quite a bit more complex, invasive and potentially painful. There are two methods to harvest marrow: the first, and most invasive, involves marrow being extracted from your pelvic bone with a big needle whilst under general anesthetic; the second method, which doesn't involve an operation, uses a drug to draw out the blood stem cells from the marrow into the blood stream and then having the blood extracted. While these did require some pause for thought I decided that given what the bone marrow could mean for the recipient it was worth signing up. My blood has been sent away for testing, so I could be a match for someone now, sometime in the future, or I may never be needed.
You may want to consider signing up yourself, but be sure to read over all the information about what it means first, because, as I said, it's not that light a decision to make.