StoryBox Profile: Marcus Tetwiler talks about donating bone marrow

We don’t usually do this, but we wanted to break away from our usual tactical breakdown of customer storytelling to share a quick story of our own. We’re really excited and honored that one of our Sales Development Representatives, Marcus Tetwiler, will be donating bone marrow this coming Monday. As a team, there are several of us who have had loved ones face cancer, and have also lost friends or family members to this deadly disease. We’re proud of Marcus for taking a proactive stand in this fight to make a difference.

We sat down with Marcus to ask him a few questions about his experience, his perspective, and how else others might get involved.

Question: What’s your motivation to participate?

Marcus: When you’re high energy and highly competitive you think you can do anything. So when someone asks “are you interested in getting swabbed to potentially save someone’s life,” it’s impossible to say no. It’s one of those things that you fall into as much as you seek out.  When I was younger, my Mom matched and donated to her sister who was fighting cancer. I saw the impact first hand, and that stuck with me through the years. I think everyone should be swabbed; everyone has the potential to do so much and give so much. One day of my life might help this person see their kids get married; might help this person see a grandchild be born. For me, it’s one day out of many. It’s a win-win.

Question: Can you take us through what the process has been like?

Marcus: I regularly donate blood for blood drives. A few donations back I was asked by a nurse if I would be interested in being swabbed for bone marrow donation. Getting a cheek swab took only a few moments. Then I got a call in early July 2014 saying I was a possibility for a match, and at that point a lot of information was thrown my way; a lot of things I imagine could be anxiety inducing for possible donors – it was a lot of info very quickly. Once I parsed through the risks and weighed the potential good, I had a blood test and a thorough physical and was deemed qualified for the procedure.

The Bone Marrow Registry organization is a referral agency out of New York called Delete Blood Cancer, and they’re the largest donor matching agency in the world. It’s been apparent in all of their publications and their language that they’re not, despite being the largest in the world, not even close to meeting the demand for possible donations.

Question: What does next week look like for you

Marcus: Tomorrow morning, I get my first of 5 injections that will help to release some of my bone marrow and stem cells into my bloodstream. That will continue daily until Monday morning, which is right before the procedure. The procedure will last about 6 hours on Monday and immediately following I’ll be feeling pretty under the weather for the next few days. Flu like symptoms, but nothing too severe.

Question: Being less than one week away from the procedure, is this feeling real for you?

Marcus: It doesn’t feel real. It feels like it’s so big that it’s difficult to wrap my head around. But right this instance, if I were to get sick or get hurt this weekend or make a poor decision, this person’s life might be lost. Because right this moment they’re going through rigorous chemotherapy and are dependent on my donation on Monday. So for this short period of chemo, my life counts for two. That’s tough to think about because it’s so big. Be safe, be healthy, and try not to screw that up.

Question: What would you say to someone who is considering participating?

Marcus: Absolutely do it. The process is painless, the agency is super helpful, has been very informative, and every question along the way has been answered. They’ve been patient with me, my family, my loved ones. They’ve been flexible around my work and life commitments and never at any point along the way have I felt like my time or donation has been just a number for their organization. They value the time, energy, and preparation it takes from the donor.

Question: If someone wanted to learn more about donating, where could they learn more?

Marcus: There’s three ways that I’d recommend getting involved. (1) You can organize a drive to help others be swabbed. (2) You can have a swab party. (3) You can volunteer:


We’re proud of Marcus’ action, and look forward to his speedy recovery next week!