Another letter in the Herald

By | May 5, 2009

Here’s what I wrote:

To the editor:

Donnie Feener’s willingness to take time out of his own life and undergo painful surgery to donate bone marrow to save the life of a stranger is truly admirable.

Unfortunately, many patients who need transplants are unable to obtain them because a matching donor cannot be found.

Finding donors is particularly difficult for patients in certain minority groups, such as African Americans or Hispanics, because those groups are tragically underrepresented in bone-marrow registries.

There are frequent registration drives in the Boston area, and the cost of joining the registry is waived at many drives (to locate a drive near you, visit www.marrow.org and click on “Join the Registry” and then “Join in Person”).

Although some donations require surgery, many are instead accomplished through a virtually painless apheresis procedure that requires little, if any, recovery time.

Many tragic stories published in the Herald have had happy endings because your readers reached out to lend a hand. Surely if Joe Fitzgerald explained how easily your readers could save a life, they would jump at the chance.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Kamens

Here’s what they published:

Donnie Feener’s willingness to undergo painful surgery to donate bone marrow to save a stranger’s life is admirable (“Ex-sailor puts teen stranger’s life first,” May 4).

Unfortunately, many patients who need transplants are unable to obtain them because a matching donor cannot be found. Finding donors is particularly difficult for certain minorities who are underrepresented in bone-marrow registries.

There are frequent registration drives here, and the cost of joining is often waived (www.marrow.org). Although some donations require surgery, many are accomplished through a virtually painless apheresis procedure that requires little, if any, recovery time.

Many tragic stories in the Herald have had happy endings because readers have lent a hand. If readers knew how easily they could save a life, they’d jump at the chance.

– Jonathan Kamens, Brighton

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