Mother of three, Tara, donated bone marrow to save a 17-year-old boy
Tara volunteered as a potential donor when she was helping a friend run a recruitment drive for Swab-a-Cheek, Save-a-Life—an organization working under the umbrella of Gift of Life with the mission of increasing the participation of ethnic and racial minorities such as African-, Asian-, and Native Americans as volunteer donors. These groups are currently underrepresented in the worldwide donor registry,
When she learned she was a potential match for a 17-year-old boy who needed a transplant, she was not only excited but completely determined. She explained, “I have three children of my own. The thought of any one of them not making it to adulthood—well, that is just not acceptable. From that point on, I was eager and focused on getting this young man some help and onto a better quality of life.”
Tara discussed the opportunity with her family, explaining to her children how she could be a match for a total stranger. Her middle son said, “Mom, this person is like your long-lost cousin. It's a no-brainer." And indeed it was. Her bone marrow donation took place at a nearby hospital as an outpatient procedure. Tara said that though she was sore at first, the discomfort was “completely manageable.” After a few days of rest, she was back to driving her busy school-aged kids around and was “generally back in action.”
Following her experience, Tara wants others to know that the process was straightforward, complications are unlikely, and the emotional rewards are immeasurable! She insists she does not consider herself a hero, though a lot of people have used that word to describe her. She explained, “What I did was an act of kindness and I hope that it inspires people who know about it to pay that kindness forward in their own ways with their own causes.”
Tara has not yet had a chance to communicate with her recipient and anxiously awaits updates from Gift of Life on his condition. She said, “My husband jokes that I talk about him like I am adopting him, but in all seriousness you do have a stake in this stranger.” She hopes to have the opportunity to meet him some day and possibly learn something about her own ethnic background. For now, Tara wants people to know that giving someone a chance at having a healthy life is immensely rewarding and that everyone who is physically able to should consider registering.
Tara lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Craig and children (Sam, Luke, and Helen). An attorney by training, Tara is currently a stay-at-home parent and serves on the boards of three different non-profit organizations. She also enjoys traveling with her family, running, and yoga.