Well, well...... now that I have stopped getting so 'frilly' while waiting for the pcr results, now they only take 2 weeks to come back, instead of the full and very long 3 weeks before now........
Tom’s Story: From Marrow Donation to "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
Getting the call
Two years later, I was called as a possible match for a woman, but she developed complications and couldn’t go through transplant. It was an absolute disappointment for me to realize I almost had the chance to help somebody out, but then I couldn’t.
In 2004, I received another call. This time the patient was a 29-year-old wife and mother from Illinois. I went in for further testing and I asked a lot of questions. I knew I was going to go through with the marrow donation –- it would be foolish and selfish not to. But I asked a lot of questions. I wanted to understand the science.
The donation experience
People ask me a lot of questions about how bad bone marrow donation hurt. But you are under anesthesia during the procedure. It hurts some when you are awake, but let me put it this way: I had the procedure on Thursday and was back at work on Monday.
On the day of the donation, I wasn’t worried about pain or discomfort. My one fear was that the doctors would say “You can go home; we won’t be going through with the marrow donation.” I just wanted to give the patient an opportunity to live.
And donating really wasn’t a big deal, in that the effort it took on my part was minimal. Yes, you can say I saved a life, but my part was just a little cog in a machine built by scientists and doctors.
Making contact with Joey
After the one-year waiting period, I learned my recipient’s name: Joey Stott. We talked on the phone and sent a few e-mails. Prior to contact with Joey, the whole experience was very rational. There was a logical progression in every step. When I got to talk to Joey, it all became very emotional.
All I hope for Joey is to have a great life. To have the opportunity to continue to be a wife, a mother, a daughter -– to have more time with her family.
So when I found out ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was building Joey and her family a new home, I was happy to help with the project. I hope that when the episode airs November 15, more people will know about Be The Match and how easy it is to save a life and keep a family together.