Recently, I became a bone marrow donor and it was by no means an easy decision. A few students on the football team were holding a registry drive at my alma mater, and I became intrigued. I knew it was nothing like donating blood, but other than that, I really didn’t know what it meant to become a bone marrow donor at all. I heard it was painful, and I heard it wasn’t the quickest recovery, but something about potentially becoming a donor forced me to learn more, no matter how scared I truly was.

As I read up more on bone marrow donation I found out that it was not nearly as intimidating as I had thought. Undergoing a relatively simple procedure could mean the difference between whether one person lives or dies; and even when it’s not a matter of life or death; it can help someone’s quality of life substantially. What I was giving wouldn’t be a major loss to me; in fact bone marrow levels return to normal in a few weeks after donating. Patients with leukemia, lymphoma, or sickle cell anemia, just to mention a few, benefit immensely from transplants which 12,000 people a year need. It was when I learned this that the decision became a little bit easier.

If you are wondering what it is like to become a bone marrow donor, click "View Slideshow" above to get the step-by-step guide.