Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bone Marrow Registration Drive - Sacramento

I have worked at a couple of schools over the years.  Back in '06, one of our students was a girl named Katie Cramer.  She was a pretty young thing, and her mom was super nice. 

Katie had cancer.

It  hasn't been easy for me, a grown woman, to do chemo and walk around bald - imagine how hard it would be for a 12 year old in middle school?   Yet, Katie came to school every day that she could, cheerful, and in darling hats. I never one time heard her complain.  I admired her strength back then, long before I knew how much strength it really takes to get through cancer treatment.

Now, I'm in absolute awe that a child had the grace to handle it so well.

I got a promotion working for another school before her time there was done, but I'd heard she'd recovered.

My son will be attending high school next year, and in anticipation, I signed up for their email notifications.  Imagine my surprise when I got one about Katie, who is attending that school.  She has apparently relasped and is in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Katie is of Asian descent and there is a shortage of Asian doners.  If you are in Sacramento and are Asian, please attend this drive and try to save Katie.  If you are not Asian, attend anyway and get yourself on the registry.  And, even if you are not in Sacramento, please join the bone marrow registry in your town - I think you can even do it through the mail now.. 

I have been on it for over 20 years - I signed up at a drive very much like this one, for an Asian child who had the same disease. That child didn't make it and even though I never met her, I still remember her face.  I want Katie to recover.  You can give her that chance.  

And, you should.

For more infromation, here is the letter I received.  Let's have this go viral so please forward it to your friends, family and facebook status.  :

My name is Sherrie Cramer.  My daughter's name is Katie Cramer; she is 16 years old.  She (and her two siblings) were adopted from China. We live here in Sacramento. Katie was treated for AML (acute myeloid leukemia) in 2006 and has, unfortunately, relapsed.  She is in need of a bone marrow/stem cell transplant.  We are working with the AADP (Asian American Donor Program) and the NMDP (National Marrow Donor Program) to find a match for her; so far, we have been unsuccessful in finding a perfect match. 
You would do this for a loved one, why not pay it forward for someone you do not know? And, there are other Katies out there. Please Help!
 So, I am asking for your help. We need people who are willing to be tissue-typed. The best possible matches will come from people of Asian descent. Time is of the essence! The Asian American Donor Program is sponsoring a Donor Drive this Thursday, June 10th. 

Here are the details: Drive Name: AA State Capitol

Location: State Capitol Address: State Capitol Room 112 Sacramento , CA 95814 

Date: Jun 10 2010 

Time: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Please forward this email on to your friends, family, co-workers and organizations.
What to expect: No needles required! Only a swab of the inside of your cheek.
Joining the Be The Match Registry is easy. Patients need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 60, meet the health guidelines and are willing to donate to any patient in need. When you come to a donor registry drive, we will explain what it means to join the registry, help you understand your commitment, answer your questions and help you through the process.
All you need to do is: Complete a registration form with contact information, health information and a signed agreement to join the Be The Match Registry. To help you complete the form, bring along: · Personal identification (such as a driver's license or passport) · Contact information for two family members or friends who would know how to reach you in the future if your contact information changes.

We'll use the results to match you to patients. Please also consider making a financial gift to the Be The Match Foundation. The total cost to add a new member to the registry is about $100. Your generous contribution in any amount is tax-deductible and helps make it possible for others to join. That's it! You'll be listed on our registry where patients turn when they need a matching donor. National Marrow Donor ProgramToll-free number: 1-800-MARROW-2 (1-800-627-7692) Web site:

Please forward this email on to your friends, family, co-workers, and organizations.
Please pray that a match will be found for Katie.

National Marrow Donor Program - Be The Match Marrow Registrywww.marrow.orgInformation and resources for donors, patients and physicians about bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants, Be The Match Registry, National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match Foundation.

National Marrow Donor Program - Be The Match Marrow Registry

Information and resources for donors, patients and physicians about bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants, Be The Match Registry, National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match Foundation.


  1. Very sorry to hear about this. If anyone is unsure whether or not to sign up, here is a story from a nanny friend who was a donor. Her story is very heartfelt.

    I wish Katie the best. I will be sharing this with others, maybe someone outside the area will be a match!

  2. Great post. I've been in the registry for over 20 years too, and got a call once that said I was a potential match. They asked me a few medical questions, and when I said I had minor neck and back pain from a recent car accident, they disqualified me. I called the home office to argue that my back pain was minor and would not interfere with my donation, but to no avail. I've always wondered if I could have saved a Katie. I've since had a bone marrow biopsy and it was no big deal. A few needle sticks and some pressure. Don't let the fear of the procedure stop you. It really was a non-event. Please go register. I was so excited when I thought I could help someone. I couldn't, but you can!

  3. Oh better clarify my comment... to register, you only have to do the swab. If you are lucky enough to be a match for someone in need, then you do the bone marrow procedure. Don't want anyone to think you need to provide bone marrow to register!!

  4. I was never called and I always wondered why. I would occasionally get materials from them so I know they still had my address and knew I existed. Now, of course, they'd never use me, but I'd do it in a heartbeat. I hope my readers (the ones without cancer) can take the time to do this. It's easy and pain-free and you can save a life. Why not?


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