Colorado woman shares bone marrow donation story to inspire more donors

Published: Jan. 29, 2022 at 6:46 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The pandemic has affected so many aspects of peoples lives, and unfortunately organizations trying to save lives are seeing the downfall of that as well.

Be the Match specializes in bone marrow and stem cell donations, and because of the pandemic, it’s seen a drastic drop when it comes to potential donors.

That’s why Eboni Nash is trying to spread the word after she donated bone marrow last year.

“I needed to do something productive and useful and I saw Be the Match,” she said. “So I ended up signing up, getting my kit, swabbing, and then I honestly forgot about it.”

After signing up, she says she got a call saying she was a match for a preteen girl.

She knew it was the right thing to do.

“Its a little bit of pain for a life-saving thing is how I tell people because it really wasn’t that painful or inconvenient. It was an easy, perfect process.”

She then shared her journey on TikTok and inspired more than 500 people to register to become a potential donor. With more than 12,000 people searching the registry for a donor annually, Dr. Ron Jacob with Be the Match says donors are needed now more than ever.

“COVID or not, that doesn’t slow down,” he said. “We just didn’t see the same numbers. We took a major hit.”

Dr. Jacob is a donor himself and says there are two ways people can donate, through the back of your hip bone and through peripheral blood stem cells, where stem cells are taken from your blood -- no surgery needed.

He says there are a lot of misconceptions about the process.

“There is a lot of work that we had to do and I think a lot of it is educating and answering people’s questions. A lot of it is also ensuring that we debunk the myths and the misconceptions.”

I also donated bone marrow back in 2020 and I was back to work within a few days, as were Nash and Jacobs. A small price to pay to help another person.

“Just realizing how easy it is to save a life. How simple it can be and how something that you were blessed with can be a blessing to somebody else,” Nash said.

Jacobs adds unfortunately a lot of people don’t go through with to the procedure when they are a match, so he hopes people will sign up and stay committed.

The organization says that people of color have less of a chance finding a match, so they hope ethnically diverse people will consider signing up.

Click here to sign up to get your swab kit in the mail and join the registry.

You can also text KKTV to 61474 to receive a link to register.

Below is Nash’s TikTok she did to raise awareness.

@honeybun.nash

Text SwabTogether to 61474 to join the registry as a living donor! @bethematch #donor #CloseYourRings #fyp #spreadlove #bethematch

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