Wishing and Hoping and Swabbing and Praying

I made this photo my Facebook profile, and my funniest smart-alecky friend said:

“All I thought when I first saw it was…Home Pap Schmear Test.”


Ummmm, no. (Although wouldn’t that be fantastic if such a thing existed??)

Nope, this is one big long Q-tip in a packet of four that did unmentionable things to the inside of my mouth.

Getting screened for the national bone marrow registry is GRUELING, let me just tell y’all. After that 40 seconds of vigorous swabbing, I think I need a carpal tunnel wrist bandage and maybe counseling for PTSD. It is a lot for one lazy middle-aged person to be forced to endure.


I don’t know HOW I got through it.

Seriously, it is the easiest thing ever. The hardest part was filling out the dang paperwork, which required me to somehow recall my work phone number and my next of kin’s address.


It’s possible I made some stuff up.  

After the forms were done, someone chatted with me about what happens if I’m a match. You can read all about it at bethematch.com – but I’d sum it up with two words: NO BIGGIE.

As the gal was explaining the process, I thought, “Man, what a cheese-eating wimp I’d have to be if I couldn’t do that little bit of nothing — especially after all Madeline has gone through.”

Madeline Guarraia is who this whole bone marrow registry shebang was for. She’s pretty much the sweetest little girl on planet Earth (and at my daughter’s school).


As precious as that angel face is, this tough customer has already punched cancer in the throat once before. But the family just found out there’s a whole new type of cancer inside her yet to fight. It’s the most heart-breaking thing, and somehow the most inspiring. Good thing this kid has heart and awesomeness to spare.

So this community is going nuts trying to do something, anything, to help. And even amidst all the amazing banners and videos and fundraisers, what she needs most is a match.

So bone marrow registries are cropping up all over. And YOU SHOULD GO.

Here’s a list of some around this neck of the woods:

  • TODAY! 4-7 p.m. at Oswegatchie School in Waterford, CT
  • Dec 22 from 5-7 p.m. Jamestown Rec Center, Jamestown, RI
  • Dec 22 from 2-6 p.m. Voluntown Elementary School, Voluntown, CT
  • Dec 28 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. St. George Catholic Church in Guilford, CT

You’ll even have fun and meet nice people like us.


One of the perils of being friends with me — your picture on here. Thanks Judy and Rebecca!

If you can’t get there, oh ye of California or Latin America (two people apparently read my blog in Brazil yesterday!?), click on this link. They’ll drop a packet in your mailbox so you can swab away in the privacy of YOUR OWN HOME. Just stick those nappy q-tips back in the mail with that delinquent stack of Christmas cards and call it a day.

Christmas is a crazy time. We’re all scurrying around with the last-minute shopping and the teacher gifts and the office parties. But if you only cross off one more to-do on your list this Christmas, DO THIS.

If you only give one more gift this year (besides Dr. Dre Beats), GIVE THIS.

You’ll get bumped to the top of the Nice List for sure.

And Madeline might just get what’s topping her list too.


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