Tuesday, November 23, 2010

OneMatch, one love - Do you believe in love? (Musings on stem cell & organ donation)

This blog is about the fast approaching so-called 'season of giving' and what we do give vs could give. The title comes from a mix of CBS's OneMatch program and songs by Bob Marley & Cher.

The blog has multiple origins (resources featured in TraQ's monthly newsletter):

Naturally, you're probably thinking, "Oh no, this is going to be a kumbaya feel-good and terminally boring blog. Believe it or not, at a national TM conference in Vancouver a few years ago, after giving a talk on the benefits of sharing TM resources, I invited colleagues on stage to sing this 60s song to the amusement of attendees, not necessarily the buddies I coerced on stage.

Well, if you are thinking the blog is feel-good pap, you are wrong. The blog is not going to stretch the envelope by alluding to the salaries of TM executives and risk alienating colleagues, but it is going to be relatively short and not particularly sweet.

Show me the money
Let's begin with how much money you are going to spend for the coming holidays:

  • Does your workplace have a gift exchange where you buy each other inexpensive 'giftoids' (maximum $10 or $20) that you struggle to make as untacky as possible?
  • Will you travel to ski on slopes covered with powder snow or to lie in the sun on white sand beside a blue-green ocean?
  • Will your friends and relatives get gifts they can live without?
  • Some or all of the above?
Here's an alternative. This holiday season, why not resolve to give someone a gift that they cannot live without? More specifically:
  • Your organs when you die - and most of us never know when
  • An organ, or part of one you can spare, while alive
  • The easiest gift of all, your stem cells
As a fall back, you can always donate blood. That's good, but you can do so much more.

  1. Instead of a gift exchange at work, hold a blood drive challenge or stem cell sign-up and see who donates or registers more ('oldies' vs under 45s; XYs vs XXs; etc.)
  2. Take the plunge and sign up to be a stem cell donor. In Canada, register at OneMatch; in the UK, British Bone Marrow Registry; in Australia, ABMDR; in New Zealand, NZBMDR; in USA, NMDP.
  3. No matter where you live, watch this CBS video with your family, friends, or co-workers. Hear Shamir and OneMatch staff explain it all (~9 mins well spent - you probably spend more time on a toilet break)
Think you know it all? Just how knowledgeable are you?


No matter where you live, you can:
  • Specify organ donations in your will;
  • Discuss the donating issues and your wishes with your family so they don't cop out when the time comes and they are grieving;
  • Become a stem cell donor while alive and an organ donor when you die.
Let's face it. If you are a TM health professional, you and your family likely have a lot and you may have heard of this biblical verse (paraphrased):
  • To whom much is given, much shall be required. -- Luke 12:48
By joining a stem cell registry, you could be THE ONE - a donor who saves the life of a fellow human being anywhere in the world. Most registries are networked.

If you are too old or have health issues that disqualify you, why not talk to your children and grandkids about becoming stem cell and organ donors?

Of course, you could do nothing and celebrate the holidays as usual.

But why not show those you care about - and yourself - who you really are? Cut the rationalization crap and JUST DO IT!

Now for the songs in the blog's title....

  • One love (wonderful video of Bob Marley's classic)
  • Believe (Cher in 1998 at age 52 - one of the best selling singles of all time - Get your dancing shoes on!)
And if you think the blog was too sweet after all, see
  • Kumbaya (What many consider a cliche, sung by Joan Baez, one of my heroes from the 60s, and a fabulous voice even if you lean towards the bubba and redneck end of the political spectrum)
As always the views are mine alone. Comments are most welcome BUT, due to excessive spam, please e-mail me personally or use the address in the newsletter notice. 

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