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by Abigail Van Buren

Investment in Forgiveness Will Pay Big Dividends

DEAR ABBY: Your readers' response to Rod Carew's letter concerning his daughter, Michelle, and her fight against leukemia was tremendous.

In his letter, Rod requested that readers contact the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and become volunteer donors to help patients in need of transplants. More than 22,000 Dear Abby readers have called 1-800-MARROW-2 (1-800-627-7692) for information. Many have already had the blood test necessary to join the registry of potential donors. The response to this letter has been greater than any other single print exposure of the NMDP's telephone number. Calls related to Michelle Carew currently total more than 47,000.

The National Marrow Donor Program thanks everyone who called for information, especially those who have, or will soon have, their tissue types listed to benefit the thousands seeking donors.

Abby, as the number of volunteers increases, more patients will find donors able to provide lifesaving bone marrow. To date, NMDP donors have given more than 4,000 patients the chance to beat their diseases, but many others are still waiting.

Our heartfelt thanks to you and your generous readers for their assistance. -- CRAIG W.S. HOWE, M.D., PH.D., CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL MARROW DONOR PROGRAM

DEAR DR. HOWE: Thank you for the update. Michelle Carew and the many others who await donor matches are in our thoughts and prayers.