My album

I was part of the reddit sign up last winter to Be The Match and was called on to help a 26 yo female with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

For the past 5 days I have been getting injections of a drug called Filgrastim to help my body over produce white blood cells.

I am currently hooked up to an Apheresis machine that will filter these cells out of my body to be transferred to the recipient. I'm gona be hooked up for 6 hours so AMA!

Bear with me on the typing. I'm doing this one handed.

EDIT----I just got off the machine. Everything went great and my donation is off to help someone. If you haven't signed up yet please do so!

Comments: 1508 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

Smuermann1788 karma

Love you - mom

PBSCdonor1157 karma

Thanks mom!

biggestdoucheyouknow626 karma

That's kinda cool if that's actually your mom.

PBSCdonor851 karma

Yeah it is. Heh

hegs599 karma

As the father of a 13 y/o daughter with AML, Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

PBSCdonor634 karma

What I'm doing is 1% of what she has to deal with. It is nothing.

cmeremoonpi596 karma

there is a special karma kingdom for you. I applaud you for this awesome deed. I lost my cousin last year to that bitch cancer. Thank you so much for helping someone have hope. You my dear are a HERO :)

PBSCdonor495 karma

That is incredibly kind of you. It really makes me feel good. After a shitty year this brings everything back into persective.

ThugZombie336 karma

I am so thankful for people like you. When I was two I was diagnosed with pretty much the same thing. My body was completely shutting down and I had no white blood cells at all. My chanes of living back then were slim to none because of how new these treatments were. Luckily a guy all the way in Germany was a match for me and they flew him out here to America where they were able to give me the transfusions of the new bone marrow. This Monday will be 16 years ago when they started the transfusions and saved my life. Today I have no sideffects from all the radiation and chemicals they tested when saving me. I was truly one of the lucky few to live a normal life after that. Thank you again for going out of your way and donating.

PBSCdonor139 karma

That is an amazing story!

petesmedia208 karma

I signed up after reading this. Thanks!

PBSCdonor165 karma

You rule. Go buy yourself something nice.

TheBananaQuestion173 karma

When you eat a banana do you move your mouth to the banana or the banana to your mouth?

PBSCdonor298 karma

I don't like bananas. Didn't see that one huh?

AmeMex129 karma

That's awesome!! I signed up at Be The Match about 3 months ago.

Figured I already donate blood and have signed up to be an organ donor.

Why not donate bone marrow (if needed) too?

PBSCdonor97 karma

That's awesome! It's a great feeing knowing you're helping somebody. Great for my self esteem

AmeMex38 karma

I'm so glad you got to donate. Way to save a life ❤

PBSCdonor78 karma

It's done as much for me. Honestly.

MaverickAK34 karma

It's done as much for me. Honestly.

It will most likely get you laid some day (if you tell the story at the right time)

PBSCdonor79 karma

Haha. Is it like a war scar? But no scar or war?

MaverickAK115 karma

Since its an AMA-- would you rather have 100 IVs in your arm, or one arm sized IV in your...arm...erm...

PBSCdonor112 karma

I would to the arm sized IV just to see how that pans out.

MaverickAK48 karma

Like a true badass... you feel like a druggies with all those needles in ya? Or like Captain America pre-transformation?

PBSCdonor100 karma

Captain America. I just want to come out of this and chase a car down.

MaverickAK4 karma

Guess it couldn't hurt to see if they have any Chuck Norris blood there... one drop is all you need, so they say.

PBSCdonor24 karma

I'll ask. It won't make me love Jesus will it?

onlyemily99 karma

I don't have any questions, but as the parent of a leukemia survivor, I just wanted to say thank you. My son never needed a marrow transplant, thankfully, but we saw many families waiting for transplants. You are doing a great thing.

EDIT: I did think of a question: are you technically donating marrow, or just white blood cells? It is my understanding that marrow must be harvested from the bone (and it's quite a painful procedure).

PBSCdonor78 karma

I am donating white blood cells that will be used in a bone marrow transplant. I'm learning this stuff as I go!

PBSCdonor48 karma

Thank you!

vjafa88 karma

so...does it hurt?

PBSCdonor107 karma

The shots weren't that fun but no worse than any other shot I've received. The machine isn't painful at all. I would like to use my arms though.

chapstick3783 karma

Stay away from GW

PBSCdonor62 karma


cggreene85 karma

I commend you sir!

My little 1 yr old nephew has a very rare disease, nobody that had it made it out of infant stage.

He will be getting his bone-marrow transplant in January, 50/50 chance of survival, but it would not be possible without people like you

Thank you!

PBSCdonor49 karma

Good luck to your nephew! I can't imagine going through that.

cggreene21 karma

He actually is really active, you would not think that he is a sick child at all. He is always positive and loves attention.

PBSCdonor11 karma

That's awesome!

resting_parrot64 karma

Forgive my ignorance, but how does the procedure actually work? Is bone marrow actually taken from inside the bones or am I just picturing the wrong thing?

PBSCdonor151 karma

There are two ways. One is a surgery (which is what you are thinking of). The other way is shots to increase your white blood cells and a sort of dialysis which removes the cells from my body for transplant. What is awesome to think about is that my immune system will become her immune system. And she will change to my blood type as well.

rovaals200 karma

She will be assimilated, for you are Borg.

PBSCdonor370 karma

My ultimate goal is to take over the planet via bone marrow donation.

glio21 karma

So the surgery is the horrendously painful method that seems like people usually hear of? I did not know the method you are using even existed.

PBSCdonor19 karma

Either did I!

CreditingPond43 karma

Does this operation benefit you at all? Or are you just being good samaritan?

PBSCdonor163 karma

It makes me feel amazing. Bad year, perfect ending

bobbycans34 karma

Great stuf, youre a genuine herof. Do you work? Was your company supportive? Paid time off etc? Do you know the person you're donating to and if so are you able to give us information on that person?

PBSCdonor86 karma

Yes I do work. I'm a design engineer for an audio/video company. I took a vacation day today and I've been getting the shots in the morning before work so I haven't missed much. I would love to give you more info if I had it. She is a 26 yo female. That's all I know. In one year from my donation they will let her know who I am. It is then her decision to reach out or not.

Maeby79102 karma

OMG if you guys get married I will totally see this movie.

PBSCdonor34 karma

Hah. Wow

bag112329 karma

You should update this in a year with if she messaged you or not.

PBSCdonor61 karma

I absolutely will

bobbycans16 karma

You are going to be wondering how hot this girl is for the next year.

Is there any danger in the procedure for you?

PBSCdonor73 karma

Yes I am indeed. There were some side effects from the drugs (I felt like I was getting the flu the first day) and there is a very small chance of having an enlarged spleen for a few weeks. Doctor told me no viscous physical contact so I guess my weekly meetup at bumfights is off till the new year.

bobbycans11 karma

So there isn't an outside chance of death or anything no matter how small because of the medication you're taking?

Will you be left with any permanent scarring?

PBSCdonor30 karma

I think there is an outside chance of death taking placebos. No cases of death that I've discovered. And I basically have an IV in each arm so the chance of scarring is very low.

lafayette050830 karma

I've been on a donor registry for awhile, and honestly I'm kind of scared that I will get called one day. Hearing that it isn't so bad makes me feel a little better. Thanks for sharing your experience!

6 hours attached to that machine? What if you have to pee?

PBSCdonor38 karma

That is the FIRST thing I thought about. Bedpan. So far so god!

cleaver_username22 karma

Do you get compensated at all? Did you have to pay to sign up?

PBSCdonor57 karma

No compensation. It's free to sign up! The link is up top. Please do it!

Haredeenee22 karma

Have some redditgold, on me!

PBSCdonor15 karma

Awesome! Thank you!

artl237721 karma

What you are doing is just 'kin amazing. Throat=lump.

PBSCdonor28 karma

You rule for saying that.

unitedamerika20 karma

Love you - Guy on the internet.

PBSCdonor19 karma

Love you as well

WatIsThisShit20 karma

As a donor, you are matched closely to the recipient. What unique genetic background trait (race, ethnicity, etc) do you think played the biggest role in getting you called to action?

PBSCdonor31 karma

This is the most puzzling thing. My background seems pretty bland. There must be something I don't know about.

yonijms19 karma

great for you! i did the same thing youre doing last april. how did the neupogen treat you?

PBSCdonor21 karma

First day not so good. It felt like I was getting the flu. After my body got used to it though I only had some sore hips.

BillCosbysForeskin19 karma

Would you like to sword fight?

PBSCdonor29 karma


traviesaurus19 karma

You are a great person for doing this. I haven't read through the questions so I apologize if any of these were already asked.

Is it a painful process? Or does it feel something akin to giving blood? Do you feel it taking a tole on your body? ie Getting tired, feeling weak, etc. Does it FEEL like you are doing a good thing? Or does it FEEL like you are just hooked up to some machine?

PBSCdonor38 karma

The shots were not that cool. They made my body ache, but it truly wasn't bad. The procedure itself is like having the longest blood draw of your life.

blodg317 karma

I'm still alive because of people like you. 5 years after diagnosis (AML) since last week.

PBSCdonor7 karma

That rules

saturdaysalright16 karma

I did that same exact thing in February, also through Be The Match. I found it a bit uncomfortable though. You should note though, that this isn't a bone marrow donation, but a stem cell donation. Were you uncomfortable at all during the donation?

PBSCdonor15 karma

You are correct. Sorry. Learning as I go here.

stuartiscool14 karma

Will this be something you do again or do you feel like u have done your bit? Ur awesome btw

PBSCdonor62 karma

If needed? Absolutely. Who am I to deny somebody a chance at life?

OhSeven12 karma

What's your ethnicity? I've been registered for years without a match (mixed race), so it seems you got matched somewhat quickly.

PBSCdonor26 karma

German, Irish, Swedish. There must be some other random stuff in there that made me a match?

LunarAssultVehicle11 karma

Unfortunately, I have no questions for you.

Congratulations and thanks for giving the chance for life to a stranger.

PBSCdonor18 karma


mirrorball1110 karma

How many injections must you give yourself prior to the actual donation?

PBSCdonor23 karma

I received 8 shots from a nurse that came to my home every day for 4 days prior. 2 a day.

theslowwonder10 karma

How did they get a hold of you once you were selected? I keep worrying I could miss a call or email.

PBSCdonor23 karma

I was emailed and called. I'm pretty sure they would get midevil to find you.

celerytalk9 karma

I'm registered to donate both surgically and non surgically. I'm a Chinese American female. What are the odds that I'll be a good candidate, or that anyone of mixed descent would be a positive candidate? It's been over a year and I'm just curious.

PBSCdonor18 karma

I was told 1 in 20,000 are the odds. I think mixed races are really what they are looking for!

KottonmouthKing968 karma

How painful is it? And what were the requirements for being able to do this? Is it like an astronaut where you have to have very specific credentials?

PBSCdonor29 karma

No more painful that a shot. You need to be a genetic match to the person you are donating to. And most likely leprosy is a deal breaker.

bnor97 karma

I have heard it is extremely painful and I have also heard it isn't any more painful then donating blood. What is your opinion?

PBSCdonor19 karma

No more painful than giving blood. I am hooked up to two IVs currently. The only side effect is a full body tingle that I have.

seanzyf6 karma

Can you take a picture of what the machine, tubes, etc look like. Im interested to see what all that looks like. Also, if you had to, Tommy as the green ranger, or the white ranger?

PBSCdonor14 karma

I've got an album up top. Check it out. Can I choose Quick Kick instead?

lordsushi6 karma

i never really got the whole bone marrow transplant concept. obviously they don't just take the marrow out of your bones. do these white blood cells turn into marrow in the recipient or something?

PBSCdonor14 karma

Exactly. Actually the still do take marrow out of your bones in some scenarios I believe.

causeiwanna5 karma

What country are you in?

PBSCdonor17 karma


shortstoryblogging5 karma

Wow you are amazing-well done.

PBSCdonor9 karma

Thank you!