Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Looking for Advice

As you know if you've read my blog for long, I'm really interested in increasing the number of people in the Bone Marrow Registry. I'm on the Volunteer Advisory Committee for the local Bone Marrow Donor Program office, and my wife and I frequently work to encourage people to register their marrow.

I'd like to take this interest to the next level and had an idea that I wanted to bounce off the RBF. I was thinking of asking friends, family members, co-workers, businesses, etc., to sponsor every mile that I walk. By the end of this year I will have walked approximatley 1,850 miles. If I could get people to pledge an amount per mile for every mile I walk in 2005 (I was thinking $.01, $.10 and $1.00 for starters) then every step I take would raise funds for the Bone Marrow Registry. If I could get enough people to pledge a total of $5 per mile, then I would have raised $9,250. Every 50 mile ultra I walked would raise $250!

I would then use the money raised to support local donor drives or some of the drives being organized by patients in need. It costs between $25 and $95 to perform the HLA Typing required to add a potential donor to the registry so one of the biggest problems adding people to the registry is cost.

To increase awareness of the cause and my efforts, I would hand out brochures on the National Marrow Donor Program at races and other events, and I thought I would try to get some custom training shirts made with information on my efforts and a web address where people could learn about what I'm doing.

What do you guys think? Does this seem feasible? I'm strongly motivated to do something for other people, but I've been unable to find the right forum do become active. This would combine my love of walking and racing with my concern about the Marrow Donor Program and the anguish I feel when I read about people waiting for a bone marrow transplant but unable to find a donor (see my sidebar for a list of some of the people who are waiting).

I'm open to suggestions and criticism so feel free to be honest. If you like, you can e-mail me directly (there is a link button on my sidebar). Thanks for your thoughts!