Sunday, January 25, 2015

Be the Match



I did something today that I've been meaning to do for a while, yet never got around to.

Today, I submitted my application and tissue samples to Be the Match.

You may know that I started donating whole blood about ten years ago, and have been a regular platelet donor for several years now, too. The next logical step was to be on the registry for a bone marrow or stem cells. My dear friend, Terri, who recently passed, received a bone marrow transplant from a healthy stranger about two years ago. The transplant was successful, for well over a year until her Leukemia came back. One thing is certain, the transplant certainly extended her life, which allowed her precious more time with her young children and family.

Terri had the opportunity to meet her (previously anonymous) donor last summer. Here is Terri's account of her experience from her blog.

As I mentioned, I had been meaning to look into becoming a bone marrow or stem cell donor (or, at least be on the database) for a while. With Terri's passing, I made the phone call and got more information. I know there is no greater way to honor her memory than to sign up to be on the donor database.

Here's some of the things I learned:

(pulling this information from the Be the Match website).

For blood cancer patients, there is a cure. And the amazing thing is, it could be you. On average, 1 in every 500 Be The Match Registry® members in the United States will go on to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) to a patient.

Donation statistics

1 in 40 registry members will be called for additional testing. Additional testing can be used to narrow the list of potential donors and determine the best possible match for a patient.
1 in 300 will be selected as the best possible donor for a patient. These potential donors will have an information session with their donor center representative to learn more about the donation process. Due to changes in the patient's condition, not all donors who are selected as the best match will donate.
1 in 500 members will actually donate.


Age:

Registry members are listed on Be The Match Registry until their 61st birthday. However, doctors request donors ages 18 to 44 over 90% of the time. Research shows that younger donors provide the greatest chance for transplant success.


I was quite surprised to find out about the age restrictions. I guess it makes sense that younger donors provide a greater chance of transplant success, but it bummed me out a little knowing that so much of the population could be turned down. Lucky for me, I'm 44 years old for just another 3 months, so I'm able to get my application in while I'm still young! ;)

I realize, especially given my age, that my chances of actually being a match to someone needing bone marrow or stem cells is very slim. However, Terri's stem cell donor was in her mid-40s, so I know it's a possibility. Who knows, I may be the perfect match for someone out there, and could help save their life.

The application process was very simple. I just filled out the form, with personal information and medical history, contact info, etc.,

Other than that, you submit four swabs that you rub against the inside of your cheek to collect your tissue sample.

Easy-peasy. Anyone can do this.





The most interesting thing that I found out was the process in which donations can now be made. I was only familiar with the surgical procedure, which, while it can be painful, it is also out-patient, and hey - you could be saving a life! Here's the information on the surgical way of donating bone marrow.

However, there's a newer procedure which I was unaware of. It's actually quite similar to donating platelets (a needle pulling your whole blood out of one arm, then the cells get sorted out, and the remaining blood returns to your body via a needle in your other arm. The process can be done in about 5 hours. (there is some prep leading up to it - you get a shot to increase the number of blood-forming cells in your body - you do this for five days before the procedure.) Here is the information on Donating peripheral blood stem cells.


The information I received on how to donate

I urge you to consider applying to be on the donor registry for Be the Match. The application process is simple and easy. The chances of actually being called upon to donate your stem cells or bone marrow is fairly low, but if you are chosen, you could literally save a life.

Unusually warm

It's going to be an unusually sunny and dry week for Seattle in January!

Starting to embrace the craziness...

Spotted in the parking garage of our building this morning. Check out the 12's on the center of the rims.



Update

Seahawk Fans come in all sizes! Check out this little cutie we saw at breakfast. :)



Saturday, January 24, 2015

glassybaby seconds sale





Yes, we are the crazy people waiting in line for the glassybaby seconds sale!!

It's in a new venue this year- their warehouse. Because it's a larger space we're not sure what to expect, so we came earlier.

Stay tuned!

(Update at 10:30am)

Wow. Total bust. We waited in line for two hours, and just when we got into the building, they were sold out (10:30am). What a difference from last year. Leaving empty handed. :(


Here's what the scene looked like when we finally got in. Empty tables, with swarms of people still in there. At this point, the last people who had grabbed seconds glassybaby were waiting in line - I hear the line took about an hour to get through.

(update - the next day)

Well, it was a bummer, but there you go. Understandable that they could run out, as these are seconds, but just a surprise to everyone that they sold out so quickly. As far as I know, they've never sold out before mid-afternoon. The two times I have been (last year) there were still plenty (and no line) when I arrived at 10:00, and another time, 11:00am. This was the earliest I've been, the longest I think I've ever waited in any line, and the only time I've waited in a line to be disappointed by not having them be sold out.

glassybaby handed out coupons to everyone in line for 10% off any regular priced glassybaby (not the Seakhawks, or $75 exotic glassybaby) glassybaby at any of their Seattle stores. This was pretty generous of them, as really, they didn't *need* to offer a discount on their regular merchandise, but as they never have sales, it was much appreciated! Paula, Gina and I were all a little stunned to be leaving empty handed, so we made our way to the Bellevue store for a little retail therapy. This unexpected/extended part of our day turned out to be very fun! I admit, I thought I'd buy one, then I found one that looked really nice with it, then (wouldn't you know) I found yet another one that seemed to complete the set.

My name is Trina, and I'm a glassybaby-holic.

I know, I know.

But, they're so pretty!!

What did I end up buying:

I bought a very pretty Bedford Brown.

Then, I discovered the beautiful Breath.

Then, I realized I needed a nice cream (which, shockingly, I don't have!) and bought Lamb.


My three new glassybaby are on the left and center. I paired them with two glassybaby that I bought as seconds last June. Very calming and pretty together, aren't they?


The set, all lit up and glowing - nice way to end the day


Friday, January 23, 2015

Ladies who Lunch

Gina and I fully admit that we were "those" people today.

We met our friend, Angus, for lunch today at El Gaucho.
Angus had a craving for their Cubano sandwich, which sounded really good to me and Gina as well.

We each had one, with a small cup of soup. Angus and I had French Onion, and Gina had a chowder. It was all pretty spectacular.

Super fun time with Angus - at lunch, we discussed whether he should travel to NYC or LA for the weekend. He had to make his decision by 3:00, and had packed for both.

In the end, he flew to New York!




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Southern Dinner

BBQ Ribs and Collard Greens. Thanks got sending us the delicious ribs from North Carolina, Kathy and Phil!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stand Off at the Park

I can across this stand-off of opposites at the park this morning. ;)

Dim Sum in Bellevue!!

Gina and I took the bus this morning to Factoria to try a Dim Sum place that we've both heard of.

It was pretty good- had all the basics, was busy without being crowded (I've heard it's crowded on weekends) and had exactly the atmosphere that you would expect from a dim sum place. Good was good, not all of our dishes were hot when we got them from the cart. Pretty good overall, and nice to have a good, basic dim sum option in Bellevue.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A night at the Symphony with Pink Martini!!

How exciting!! Our first time to the Seattle Symphony!! They are playing with Pink Martini, a band we love from Oregon. Special guests: the Von Trapp Family! :)

We took the bus here, which was just amazing. The bus transit center is a block from our apartment. Comfortable ride, and half an hour later, we arrived at our station in Downtown Seattle. Before we exited the station, we found the elevator that brings you right inside the Symphony Hall!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Nicole!!

Nicole's Birthday was earlier this month, but we managed to find an evening that (most) of us were able to get together to celebrate.

We started off at Omar and Lora's house for drinks and snacks (thank you, Lora!). They weren't able to join us for dinner, but invited us over before dinner since the restaurant we were going to was so close to their house.


Toasting Nicole's' Birthday at the Shahine's

We had dinner at Nashino, and fantastic sushi/Japanese restaurant in Seattle, and one of Dan and Nicole's favorites. Dick and I hadn't been in several years, and I had forgotten just how amazing it is! Even better, Dan and Nicole, being frequent diners here, ordered for the table. Everything was SO delicious!!


a rare moment that our table didn't have any food!


Happy Birthday, Nicole!