How to Help

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My Young Adult Survivorship/GVHD Research Fund: Donate, Share, and/or Host a Fundraiser!

I am currently working toward establishing a permanent Young Adult Survivorship/GVHD research fund. This is hugely important, as young adults are often lost in the gap between pediatrics and adults. All too often I have had peditriac doctors say “Most of my patients behave like this, but you’re older…” and adult doctors say “Most of my patients behave like this, but you’re younger…” There is just not enough research for young adults. If I can raise $10,000 by the end of 2018, this fund will become permanent and I can keep fundraising forever! I will have some level of control over where these funds go, though of course St. Baldrick’s will ensure that the research is promising. Check out the fundraising page for a more in-depth description and please contact me if you are interested in hosting a fundraising event!

You can also redirect any funds you have raised in the past year (including from head shaving and facebook fundraisers) to this fund by contacting me directly at bavittim@stanford.edu.

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Be the Match: Register as a potential bone marrow donor!

People ages 18-44 are eligible to sign up for the bone marrow registry. Bone marrow transplants have saved so many lives, including mine, and while I was lucky to have a sibling match most people do not. To register and possibly save a life, just request a swab kit mailed to you, swab, and mail it back. Donors from diverse backgrounds are especially needed – non-white people are seriously underrepresented on the registry, which means that non-white patients have a harder time finding a match.

Donating is done via one of two methods: Peripheral Blood Stem Cells, which are harvested via IV and require no surgery at all, or bone marrow, which is usually taken from the pelvic bone while the donor is under anesthesia. This procedure is mildly painful, with its aftermath described like the bruising you might feel after a kick to the back. Most patients donate peripheral blood stem cells. My brother did!

 

 

The first picture was taken the morning of the transplant, the second is a beautiful picture of him during donation, and the third is right afterward, while I was receiving his stem cells. As you can see, he survived (with plenty of energy).

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