Turning 61 a few months ago was fairly anticlimactic, given both the unremarkable age (although it is a prime number) and the fact that it took place in the middle of a pandemic. I received a small handful of birthday cards and unsolicited email and snail mail from people trying to sell me things, but that was about it.
One month to the day after my birthday, I received an email from a non-profit group whose mission was to match willing bone marrow donors with patients in need. I had volunteered for this opportunity during a blood drive years ago, and having known people in need of bone marrow transplants, I thought it was the least I could do.
As it turned out, 61 was a magic age as far as the registry was concerned. It meant that I could no longer be considered as a bone marrow donor for reasons they labored to explain nicely but could be summed up: “Transplant doctors want younger donors.” There was a table listing maximum acceptable donor ages in different countries, and I had the consolation of knowing, for example, that Australia would have dropped me from their roles at age 40.
As further solace, I was encouraged to donate to the non-profit registry.
removed from the potential