You can make a difference!

Romans 8:28: We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. [NRSV]

Romans 8:28: That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. [Msg]

I write this having just scheduled my platelet donation and testing for the National Marrow Donor Program. Why did I do this? I have been a whole blood donor for some years, but have never donated platelets. Through my friendship with Guadalupe Herrera, who is fighting leukemia, I have learned a lot about this procedure, and about bone marrow and blood stem cell donations. If it were not for my desire to help my Christian Brother, I would not have learned about this need.

Guadalupe has been a positive Christian influence in my life for the past two years, both before he learned of his leukemia, and since. While my original motivation was to help my Christian brother, Guadalupe, my motivation now includes the possibility of being able to be part of a cure for anyone who needs bone marrow, blood stem cells, or just platelets. When a person undergoes chemotherapy, the transfusions they need are platelets, not whole blood.

Guadalupe prays that the possibility of being a bone marrow match for him will inspire many of you to be tested for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), so that even if you don't match him you may be a match for someone else in need of a donation.

I first met Guadalupe Herrera in July 1999 on KAIROS #27 at the Ferguson Unit of TDCJ. I am convinced that God put Guadalupe in the chair next to mine. Since then I have met in small group with Guadalupe while he was still at Ferguson. Guadalupe was due to be paroled in October 2000. In May 2000 he was diagnosed with leukemia, and due to his illness was released in July 2000.

Guadalupe has spent most of that time fighting the disease, much of it in the hospital from the effects of chemotherapy. This spring he was thought to be in remission, but the cancer has come back. He has been told that without a bone marrow or a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation he will likely not survive more than a few months. Several members of his family have already been tested, with negative results.

Please pray that a match will be found for Guadalupe. Also, you can increase his chances and that of others in similar situations by becoming a donor yourself.

The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is a registry of folks who have been tested, and are willing to be donors if they should match someone who needs either a marrow or PBSC donation.

To be tested and added to the registry costs $55 for Caucasian donors only. The cost is waived for minority donors. The cost is also waived if you make a platelet donation. You are eligible to make a platelet donation only if you have donated whole blood or platelets in the past two years.

The simple test takes a few minutes, enough to fill out some forms, and draw one tube of blood. Platelet donation takes less than two hours.

To be a donor you must be between the ages of 18-60 and be in general good health. You must not take any aspirin in the 72 hours prior to donation.

To be tested in Austin, call the Travis County Blood and Tissue Center,4300 North Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas at 512.206.1272 and ask for Shirley Laine. If you wish to schedule a platelet donation, please call 512.206.1231. Let them know that you wish to be added to the marrow registry when you make your platelet reservation.

If you want to know more about the specific steps of being a donor, check the web at:
Other information can be found at: has a wealth of information about this life-saving program.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Yours in Christ: Steve Ryder 512.917.0823

Personal Cards may be addressed to:
Mr. Guadalupe Herrera
% Seton Medical Center, Rm. 704
1201 W. 38th Street
Austin, TX 78705