How I Became a Stem Cell Donor (part two)


This is the second in a series of posts by Erica Steen, the director of the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service. You can read the first post here.

It’s been a week of ups and downs. There is no doubt in my mind that I am happy to donate my Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC) to “Luke” (aka– the anonymous recipient of my PBSC). But as excited as I have been there’s also trepidation. I am not a fan of needles or the sight of my own blood. I have spent the past week totally psyching myself up for my day at the Fairfax clinic. My mother has a plane ticket and two of the best girlfriends in the world have taken the day off to come hang with me. Their task: to distract me for the many hours it takes to complete my donation.

But, now I feel like I’ve let Luke down. I just got a call that he is in the ICU. Of course it’s not my fault he’s in the ICU, the donation isn’t even scheduled until next week but now it has been postponed. He needs at least five full days of chemotherapy before receiving the PBSC transplant and he needs to be in stable condition before that.

I am still Luke’s donor, but now we have to wait and pray. So if you find yourself with an extra prayer please send them his way (not that we know where he is).

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