Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Perfectly Matched Donors

I talked to the transplant coordinator at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) yesterday. She said Jacob's panel reactive antibodies test came back in and they now have all the information they need to find the very best donor and begin the transplant process. Jacob is fortunate to have many perfectly matched donors in the national registry. It is a blessing that we can find someone who is not only perfectly matched, but also meets other less important criteria, such as being CMV negative, like Jacob is, and matching his blood type. So far it looks like our best match is a 37 year-old North American male. He was originally Jacob's backup the last time and has already been typed. In the back of my mind, I already knew Jacob would have a lot of matches because he did the first time around, but receiving the call and hearing of these amazing people who want to save someone's life through bone marrow donation still touches my heart deeply.

Many of you have asked how you can help our family. One way is to sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program at bethematch.org. Jacob is very fortunate to have matches, but many children have to settle for less than perfect matches, increasing their risk for further complications after transplant. The more people who sign up to be donors, the more chances there will be for children to have their perfect match. So please sign up! Be someone's hero!

The next step for us is to wait to hear on proposed dates. The clinicians decide based on the urgency of the case and the availability of the facilities. Once they choose, the date is proposed to the donor who would need to do a physical exam prior to donation, and then go through the actual bone marrow extraction on the day of Jacob's transplant. If the donor agrees upon the proposed dates, then everything is scheduled around Day 0, which is transplant day. If the donor is unavailable on the proposed date then dates will be discussed back and forth until something is agreed upon.

It is a huge relief to hear that things are moving along favorably, but also somewhat nerve-racking that this is all happening again.


Pam and Mac McSweeney said...

We are rejoicing with you and continuing to pray that ALL the details will come tegether quickly. Praying also for special family time together as you await the time away in Seattle.

jp said...

Hi all...I love being able to keep up on your journey and seeing my friend Ethan in many of your pictures. I love knowing how to currently pray. Will you be going to Seattle for the transplant? My brother-in-law is a cancer specialist there...non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Let me know if we can help find places for you to stay or ??? Praying...