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Ex-Marrow Donor Praises Program

December 17, 1995

Re: "Marrow Programs Get Major Response to Appeal by Carew," Dec. 6. Six years ago, I was the second-ever unrelated marrow donor from Orange County. I was a little unsure of the entire process at the time (after all, it was fairly new to use unrelated donors). I am extremely proud of my donation and I have no regrets about any part of the donor program, and would do it again in a minute if I were called on to do so.

Your article is correct--they only need a small tube of blood to do their tests. There is still a tremendous need for minorities to join the [National Bone Marrow Program] registry. Until you match someone and are called for more tests, all you need do is keep the registry advised of any address changes!

To this day, the first question anyone asks when I mention that I was a bone marrow donor, is, "Isn't that painful?" Quite honestly, no, it wasn't that painful at all. The operation is done under general anesthetic. Let me simplify: You're out, you don't feel a thing! When I awoke after the surgery, and for about the next week, I was sore, and I moved slowly. (I always move slow, this made me move a little bit slower!)

I am married now and have a 5-year-old son. Like Rod Carew, I would do anything in my power to locate a donor for my son if he needed it. It is amazing to me to know that Sally (my marrow recipient) would probably not be alive were it not for the National Marrow Donor Program and me. It has been over five years now, and she is considered "cured" of leukemia.

I received far more in return than I ever felt that I gave with this donation. You normally think of police and fire [workers] as people who save lives. Well, here is an opportunity for everyone to become a life saver! They can answer your questions and fears of the marrow program. But not unless you ask them!

CHUCK CORPENING

El Toro

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