**I’ve been fighting with the computer since Friday to add the “links” to the websites mentioned below. I’m admitting defeat. I’m sending this out anyways so that you can have the information but you’ll have to do the work yourself to find the sites.**

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First off, thank you for the outpouring of love that has been shared with our family as we have been in the process of making the decision to move forward with a bone marrow transplant (bmt). We know that we are surrounded by family and friends who love and care for us. This is so important as I/we move through the next stages of my chemotherapy and bmt. We knew that you all loved us, but I’m not sure we knew that you LOVED us. We LOVE you in return and thank God for you.

So, some questions have come up since I first posted about our decision to move forward with a bmt. I’d like to point you in the right direction to get some good information about what is involved in a bmt and how you can become a bmt donor.

Blood Donation: You’ve already heard me talk about the importance of donating blood on a regular basis, especially in the summer months when the blood banks run low on supply. Just yesterday Jeff was at a clinic to donate his “O neg” blood and he was told that the banks are running short. Would you consider becoming a one time donor or even a regular donor? You can find out more at www.blood.ca and book an appointment for your donation. I have had many transfusions in my treatment history and I know that I can look forward to many more. Your donation will save a life. Literally.

Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT): So what is a bmt? I’m going to refer to the experts here and recommend two websites. The first is found on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada website. You can type “Bone Marrow Transplant” into the search box at the top of the page and you can read the first article that comes up titled Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation. (www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_chap)

The other site I would recommend is an American site found at www.marrow.org. If you click on Patient’s and Families at the top of the page, you will find some information about pre-treatment and also a bmt.

There is a lot of reading on these two sites and I’ll warn you, it’s not light reading or even bedtime reading. That said, you will become informed.

Bone Marrow Donor: If you are interested in becoming a bone marrow donor, the Canadian site is www.onematch.ca and you will be given all the information you need to know in becoming a donor. As I mentioned before, I already have two Matched Unrelated Donors (MUD) so you would not be registering specifically for my own benefit. You would be adding your name to a list of self-less individuals who have made themselves available in the case that they would be a match one day for someone they do not yet know.

I see Dr. Crump again on Monday and I’ll find out more specific answers to my own treatments, but until then, I hope all this information is helpful and answers your questions.

With joy in my heart,

H.

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