DEF CON Be The Match

At DEF CON 22, I signed up at the Be The Match booth to be a bone marrow donor.  I didn’t really think much about it.  I noticed the booth while waiting in line for my Vegas 2.0 badge.  I attempted to participate in the Blood Kode, but was still recovering from a cold and was disqualified.  I’d never paid attention to bone marrow donation prior to this.  The sign up for Be The Match was a cheek swab.

Two months later, October, I received a call from Be The Match indicating I was potentially a match and they would like me to have a blood test to further determine my compatibility.  I had the test.  Two months later, December, I received a second call indicating I was a full match and if I was willing to go forward with the donation via hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.  I agreed.

The next step was a physical including more blood tests to make sure I was physically capable of donating.  After the physical results were returned, a donation was scheduled.  It was a 5 day process.  On each of the first 4 days, I had injections of Filgrastim.  On the fifth day is the donation.  During the first 4 days, I encountered joint pain in my hips and back.  That appears to be extremely common.

The fifth day was the donation.  I went to the hospital handling the donation.  It is basically dialysis for a few hours.  They hooked me up to the machine, then I sat there for 6 hours while the process occurred.  I still had joint pain for 24 hours after the donation, but the pain has gone away.

Am I the first DEF CON attendee to donate?  I don’t know.  I tweeted @_defcon_, but they haven’t responded.