You never know when a friend can help save your life! (Photo by Denise Crew).
Everyone at FITNESS was deeply saddened to learn the news that Robin Roberts, TV host on Good Morning America, has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood and bone marrow disease that may have resulted from her breast cancer diagnosis (which she beat!) five years ago. After speaking with doctors, she learned that the scary Google statistics that pop up when you search MDS don't apply because Roberts is younger and fitter than most who receive this diagnosis. Another reason why we encourage you to make health and fitness a priority: it can increase your chances of survival in dire situations like this one!
Roberts has now begun chemotherapy pre-treatments in order to prepare for a bone marrow transplant that will take place in the summer or fall of 2012. Fortunately, her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, is a nearly perfect match, so the hunt for a donor is not a worry she faces.
Others, however, are not so lucky. Many family members do not end up being a match for those in need, and some have to sit and wait, hoping a match will appear in a donor registry like Be The Match. Bone marrow donors are not in abundance, and many don't even realize they can help save a life, whether it be someone they know or a complete stranger.
In order to find out, visit marrow.org and follow the instructions. You may also learn more about the donation process and enter your information into the registry if you decide that's the right personal decision for yourself.
In the meantime, we're sending all of our strength, love and well wishes to Roberts for dominance over this disease, and a speedy, healthy recovery!
Now you tell us: How far would you go to help a loved one (or complete stranger)? Are you already an organ donor, or considering being one?