As everyone knows, the most magical shopping season of the year is now underway. And in honor of that occasion, I would like to offer a special deal: become a member of the National Bone Marrow Registry. Only $52! Ethnic minorities may be able to join for free! And sometimes they even offer special discounts for white folks, too.
Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking: "Is he blogging about the NBMR again? Haven't we heard enough about this already? How about a Joke of the Day instead?" True, I have advocated for the registry before. But this time there's a catch: you get a chance to be my sponsor.
You see, ever since the triathlon here in Mad City a few months ago (see my 9/13 entry), I've been kicking around the idea of attempting one of those nightmarish endurance events. As I mentioned before, registration for the 2009 triathlon here filled up quicker than you can say "Mad City," and I was left out in the cold. (Probably for the best, though. I would perish if I tried a regulation, bona fide triathlon. I wouldn't stand a chance. Game over, man.)
So, what I've been doing instead is writing random numbers on the side of my leg with a Sharpie before my daily jog. For a while it actually made me feel like a real triathlete. But lately the thrill has worn off, and I decided it was time to bite the bullet. So, I am now registered for the Ironman 70.3 Boise next June. The 70.3 stands for the length of the race, which is half a full-length triathlon. I guess that means I won't be a real Ironman. (Iron Baby? Iron Tween?) But it's more than enough triathlon for me. Trust me.
So here's the deal: I am looking for supporters. To be a member of Team Trevor, all you need to do is sign up for the NBMR. No need to send me cash and wonder what I'll do with it, like that debacle with the 5K race back in 2002. And if you're already signed up for the NBMR ... well, you're hosed. I'm only taking new signees. (No, just kidding. Just donate $50 or more to the NBMR, or the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, or some other organization involved in bone marrow transplant work, and you're in! A two-dollar savings on the regular cost! What a deal! Woo woo!) Just sign up, or donate, and then let me know so I can add you to the list. My goal: 100 sponsors. I'll keep a "running" tally here.
So, what was the inspiration for this? Well, there's actually several factors. People who read this blog are probably also familiar by now with Steve Rider's blog, and are cheering him on as he prepares for his stem cell transplant. But that's not the whole story. Would I swim 1.2 miles for Steve? Absolutely. Would I then bike 56 miles for Steve? Ummm ... all right. Sure, yeah. He's a David Cronenberg fan, after all. Would I then run 13.1 miles for Steve? Are you insane??? I just met him a few months ago! I wouldn't even do that for his sister! Although, I would be happy to hand off the baton to one of Steve's friends, if it was like a relay effort and they were prepared to take over after the bike stage (or better yet, the swim stage).
But in all seriousness, Steve is a very decent and well-liked guy, and it's awesome that they found a good match for him on the NBMR. But there are also a couple other motivating factors for me:
1. As an oncologist-to-be, I order a lot of palliative chemotherapy to help people live a few months or maybe a few years longer. It's an honor to be able to do this for patients. But at the same time, an allogeneic stem cell transplant is potentially curative for a variety of hematologic diseases, and that's a very appealing thing.
2. My mother passed away about 6 months ago from primary myelofibrosis, a rare hematologic malignancy. She wasn't a candidate for a stem cell transplant (the usual age limit is 60-65 years), but it could be a treatment option for others with this disease.
3. It just seemed like a good thing to do.
All right, enough talk. Let's start recruiting! Really, what better Xmas present can you give a loved one, than joining the NBMR? Put it to them this way: "Look, I know you really wanted that iPod Nano. But if you ever get really sick and need a bone marrow transplant ... I've already got you covered."