Second, is a big one. I am asking you and as many people that you know to register to be a bone marrow/ stem cell donor.
While this may sound scary, the process is not as bad as many envision it.
The process begins with going to www.bethematch.org and registering with their worldwide bank. This takes about twenty minutes to gather your information and validate whether or not you might be an ideal donor (FYI the site states that ideal candidates are between the ages 18 & 44). Just to be clear, you will not be registering for Joe specifically. There are approximately 20,000 people that are in need of a donor a year that do not have a suitable match within their immediate family. You could be matched with anyone. The process of donating itself depends on how they extract the cells. It can be extracted via biopsy from the hip (Joe is going in for his second on Monday. He said the first was surprisingly not that bad and had some localized pain the next few days.) or peripherally via IV. The IV donation begins with daily filgrastim injections to boost stem cell production (which can cause flu like symptoms) then a few days later stem cells are extracted from donated blood. You can find anymore information you want/need on the be the match website.
The final thing that would be super helpful is specifically for government employees. Joe is getting set up with the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program. Anyone who would like to donate a day or two to his account that would be So appreciated. Joe has been off work since September 9th due to side effects of this, so we have already chewed up through a good chunk of his time off. I am not totally clear on how this works (some of you probably know a lot better than I) but I will get more information on this soon. From what I understand, Joe will first use all of his time off (of which there is about a month left) and then they will send out an inter-agency request for volunteers.
We love you all and are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, prayer and love that we have received. Thank you does not begin to cover it!