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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Flirty Girl Urgently Needs Your Help

It would mean the world to me if you would help me spread the word about www.HelpingTami.org to anyone and everyone you know.

Here are the Key Points:
My 44 year old cousin Tami, a working mom with 2 young kids, has been diagnosed with a bone marrow disease very similar to Leukemia called Myelosdysplasia. She is in urgent need of a Stem Cell/Marrow Transplant. 

You can visit her new website at www.HelpingTami.org.

Today I am launching a Nationwide Donor Drive using mail-in test kits that can be ordered online or over the phone. Testing for Ethnic Minorities is free (Learn why ethnicity mattersand the cost for Caucasians to be tested is reduced thanks to a Federal grant.

The kit can be ordered online or over the phone. The test itself consists of 4 cotton swabs that you swab your mouth with then mail back. That's it. That's all it takes to join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to see if you're the one, the perfect 6 marker match, for my cousin Tami or any of the 6000 other people currently in need of a life saving marrow transplant.

Learn how you can join the national registry by using a mail-in test kit by CLICKING HERE



Tami's Diagnosis and Other Ways You Can Help:
(It's kind of long but I'm hoping you'll read it)

Tami and I grew up together so closely that I've always considered her to be a sister. Since she's a year older then me I've known her my entire life. She was my only bridesmaid at my wedding in 2007 and whenever she came to the Bay Area on business we'd always get together for dinner or to go shopping... Diagnosed with Myelodysplasia her world has literally been turned upside down. For me, there was no period of denial. I quickly realized that she will need the help of everyone who loves her, and even more so the help of those who don't even know her, to find her the stem cell/marrow match she urgently needs.

The Diagnosis:
In early February Tami was having a tough time recovering from the flu. She was so exhausted she had to cancel a business trip. Because she's always been really healthy it was worrisome that she wasn't feeling like her normal self. 

A visit to her doctor confirmed that something was amiss. Initially she was diagnosed with anemia. Her condition took a more serious turn a couple of weeks later when she had to be taken to the ER to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. At the time her white and red blood cell counts were low as was her platelet count and blood pressure. After 2 days they moved her out of ICU and after a week of extensive testing she received the diagnosis that she had Myelodysplasia.

About MDS
Often called "Pre"Leukemia it causes the bone marrow to produce abnormal blood cells and platelets at an accelerated rate. This weakens the blood causing complications that include: anemia, the inability to fight off general infections and both external and internal hemorrhaging, all of which are life threatening. Tami's blood is so damaged she has already received multiple blood and platelet transfusions. For 1 of 3 patients, MDS will progress to become Acute Myeloid Leukemia within months or years of diagnosis.

While supportive treatments exist (medicines and blood/platelet transfusions) currently the only  known "cure" for severe forms of MDS is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. 

How You Can Help:

To learn how to Become a Registered Potential Donor for the National Marrow Donor Program please CLICK HERE.

• To add a Web Badge to your website or blog to support the Helping Tami.org website please CLICK HERE

If you have a Blog, would you be willing to blog about Tami's website and share her story with your readers?

• To learn how to host a Donor Drive CLICK HERE

• Publicize Tami's website with PDF flyers/signs you can print to hand out or to hang up in your office, church or anywhere you think people will see it please CLICK HERE

• To order Postcards/Business Cards you can put out at your place of work for others to take or to hand out please CLICK HERE

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who has already been tested, have begun organizing donor drives and fund raisers for Tami, and to everyone who has been helping me to learn how to become an effective advocate for the AADP and the NMDP. It's been an immersion course and one that I will always be passionate about and committed to now having someone I love so dearly being a person in need.

3 comments:

  1. Stacie - I just ordered the home kit... hopefully I qualify and they will send it to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I got my kit and I need to just swab and return. Will do it this week. I hope Tami finds a donor and soon. My thoughts and prayers are with her and your entire family. Why do things like this have to happen to the good people? :(

    She's so lucky to have you as her champion and her guardian angel. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just got my kit in the mail today, will swab this weekend!

    ReplyDelete



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