Category Archive:stem cells

stem cellsWhen I was younger my step sister went and saw this woman at the nursing home. She was very kind and her name was Mary. She was a lot older, she was in her eighties or nineties. I can’t really remember her actual age because anyone in a nursing home seemed extremely old to me, even ancient and so I am not sure of her actual age. She was so very kind and my step sister always enjoyed going and seeing her at the nursing home. They did crafts together and put puzzles together, things like that. I think Mary really enjoyed the company. I am not sure if her children came around to see her much. At one point my step mom got me connected with a woman who was a lot younger, her hair was still brown, who was in the nursing home. I remember being a little bummed I didn’t have a sweet old lady but Shirley, the woman I visited was still very sweet.

One day Sarah found out that Mary had bone marrow cancer. We had just gotten back from the nursing home where we hand painted these ceramic angels that we had on our book shelves for years. Mine was bright orange with glitter and her’s was a blend between light blue and sea green with glitter. I accidently broke the wing off of my step sisters when we were older and I am not sure if she ever forgave me for it because Mary died shortly after we made those angels together. My sister was inconsolable. We were still very young when she died. My step mom had explained to her that bone marrow cancer was very serious and they would try to give her a bone marrow transplant but that sometimes doesn’t work, so in a way she was prepared but I am not sure you ever can be completely prepared for that. After Mary passed, we never did go back to the nursing home to see Shirley.

Every time someone mentions bone marrow, which isn’t that often, I think about Mary. I didn’t realize that bone marrow makes up a good chunk of our biological capacity and that there are actually stem cells inside of bone marrow. It makes sense to me that Mary was as sick as she was and I am so glad that she was able to spend as much time with my sister as she did. Though she wasn’t specifically my friend, I mourned her death as well and even missed her after she was gone.

While I did research on bone marrow, I learned that there are new fields of medicine that can take autologous stem cells from the bone marrow that you can then use to create neural cells in your brain which can help with many different illnesses. Bone marrow is a very sensitive and important part of our bodies and you can even donate your bone marrow if you so choose to help someone if they are ill.