I was shocked when I read on mgoblog about Phil Brabbs and his fight with multiple myeloma. When I'm not cheering for Michigan I am a resident physician in the area. Multiple myeloma is one of the most insidious and devastating diseases to see, not only because of the difficulty in treating it, but also because of the co-morbidities that accompany it (bone fractures, weight loss, etc).
For such a young person to have it - let alone a Michigan Man - it feels even worse.
So if you have the time, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program
and help out Brabbs or other people suffering from hematologic diseases. It's incredibly easy - all they do is swab your cheek and then run the tests at their lab to get your HLA-type (a fancy term that categorizes your bone marrow) and then see if you are compatible with anyone who is suffering from multiple myeloma, leukemia, etc. If you are compatible with somebody, they call you and then you go to a local center to have your blood drawn. They then run further testing on your blood to confirm you are a match. If so, you can then decide to donate marrow. Don't worry - no large needle will drill into your bones during this process. Rather, it involves you sitting on a recliner while hooked up to a machine that gently filters your blood. You literally just donate blood. And they might even give you a cookie afterwards.
If you're feeling super-ambitious - and the Michigan community often is - you can even set up a bone marrow donation drive. I've helped set one up, and the good people at the NMDP will come to wherever you are and do all the heavy lifting. If there's any interest at all in the mgoblogging community I'd be willing to help.
A guy from my medical school passed away at a young age from leukemia while waiting on a donor, and many more do every day. So again, I urge you to consider this. It's a small gesture on your part but it literally can save the life of someone.
Thanks for reading and Go Blue! Keep Brabbs in your thoughts/prayers/whatever, just like you did at the end of the Washington game in 2002 (though this time for a totally different reason, yes).