Julia Pirani - Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donor

I gave blood one time, and while I was at the clinic someone asked me whether I would allow them to take a sample for the NBMP. Certainly, I thought nothing of it at the time. The next spring, I was contacted by the NBMP and told I was a potential match for someone; would I be willing to make an additional donation? OF COURSE! I was thrilled that I could be a potential match for someone in need! I knew nothing about the person who would receive my blood. I remember the representatives at the clinic assuring me that the person was in dire need. I remember thinking, I trust you. You don't have work so hard to convince me. My recipient did not need marrow, but I might have exactly what he needed. The process moved along and the week of the collection, I had to take injections to induce stem cell reproduction. This would give my recipient the best possible chance. My stem cells were extracted over two days. There were some unpleasant moments, but I kept my eye on the prize, if I could offer someone even one more day it was worth it. I was lucky enough to meet my recipient in July 2006; an incredible young man with a fantastic family! There was never any question as to whether I would donate. It was just a matter of time, and if needed again, my answer would be the same. My feeling is, it's not really about me, it's about my recipient, but if my message can encourage someone else to donate, then I will tell my story.

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