Editor’s note: Here at Children’s, our employees do more than just champion causes that will make life better for children. We know our actions speak louder than words. One such employee, Rafael Pacheco, a pharmacy technician at Children’s, joined the Be The Match Registry® in 1997. Thirteen years later, found out he was a match for a patient in South America with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and donated peripheral blood stem cells. Read his inspirational story below:
I signed up to be a bone marrow donor with Be The Match in 1997. I knew it was something I wanted to do as a way to help someone with a life-threatening disease. Even though I understood it wasn’t a guarantee that they would survive, I still felt that my donation might potentially at least give someone a fighting chance.
It took about 13 years before I was finally contacted in 2010 and told I was a potential match for a patient with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) who lived in South America. After some additional tests, I was confirmed as a match and began the process to donate peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). Check out this short video from Be The Match about the PBSC donation process.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous before the procedure, but it was actually pretty simple. In fact, I was even able to catch up on some movies I hadn’t yet seen! The process took about eight hours but was relatively uneventful. I did experience some tingling around my mouth and fingers, but the technicians warned me about that before we started, so I wasn’t too worried. And, after they gave me some calcium, it subsided.
I did experience some achiness afterwards, but I just kept reminding myself that the person receiving my donation had gone through much more than I had endured. I’m not sure how the young man in South America is doing. Since it’s an international case, it’s been difficult to get any information. Still it was a great experience and I would definitely do it again.
If Rafael’s experience has inspired you, and you’re between the ages of 18 and 44, stop by one of three Be The Match drives from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Dallas and Children’s at Legacy campuses.