• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Best Before…2013?

You know, I don’t usually _feel_ old, bionic knees notwithstanding. But I got a letter a couple of months back from the “Be the Match” organization that gave me pause for a moment.

“Be the Match” ® is the registry for the National Marrow Donor Program ®, which I’ve belonged to for the last thirty years or so. This is the registry that allows people to volunteer as a potential donor for bone marrow, should their genetics prove a good match for someone in need of a transplant.

I’ve never been asked to donate—evidently I don’t match many people –but have been on their books a long time. So along comes this letter, containing a small Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation, recognizing me “for outstanding commitment to and life-saving support of the Be The Match Registry ®.”

After thanking me, the letter went to say (in boldface type, no less):

“With your 61st birthday approaching, you will soon complete your eligibility for being on the registry as a potential donor.”

So evidently my bone marrow has expired, in terms of shelf-life. [g] The letter went on to ask me to donate $100 (tax-deductible—or at least it _was_, before the latest round of tax-hikes) to the Registry, to help them in recruiting a replacement donor.

Frankly, I thought it might be more effective to mention it here, in case any of you kind folks feel moved to sign up. The letter says further:

“Since 1987, we have facilitated more than 50,000 transplants from unrelated donors to give patients a second chance at life. Last year alone, we helped more than 5,500 people get the transplants they needed. We’re very proud of those accomplishments, but we have much more work ahead of us. Each year 10,000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening blood cancers need a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor.”

So. If any of y’all are interested in helping out with this valuable work, you can find out more details at BeTheMatch.org/help. Any of you who haven’t expired yet, I mean…

P.S. You want old? Well, age is relative. The photo above was taken this past August in the park at Castle Leod, Strathpeffer, Scotland. The tree I’m standing in front of was planted by Mary of Guise (this would be Mary, Queen of Scots’ _mother_) when she came to visit the castle back in 15-something. [You can see more about the Castle itself here.] Both the tree and I are doing Just Fine, Thank You.

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76 Responses »

  1. Dear Diana,

    Are there any reasons why you wouldn’t put up posts? My last comment was not put up…and while I don’t remember it word for word I am quite certain there wasn’t any bad language, insult, or whatever else might warrant omission from the site.

    Having said this…I will say again that I absolutely love your writing and the characters you have created.

    You look absolutely wonderful…for any age.

    EileenM

  2. Hi Diana,

    I’m from Brisbane Australia. I’m a lady almost 61 years old. I have been a blood donor for many years now. Recently gave my 51 donation all gracefully received i may say. Not sure if i have a cut off date, but will continue to give blood till they say no more. I think it’s always good to help our fellow man or women out.

    Am on my 5th read of all of ur books.

    Kind Regards,

    Roslyn

  3. I hope to look half as good at 30 as you do at at 60. You ate absolutely beautiful and I love your writing. Thank you so much for the wonderful world you have created with your pen/keyboard.

  4. Diana, you certainly do NOT look anywhere near 60! I love that you bring light to bone marrow donation.
    I have been on the donor’s list for some time now and came very near being able to donate, but alas, the last hurdle made it not possible. They did not go into detail, just that there were steps and they called to make sure I was available. The last step in the process proved a problem apparently but they didn’t explain why.
    I didn’t know of the “expiration date” either, but I suppose I’m there as well. That’s too bad. I’ll forward your valuable information to everyone I can, however.
    Lastly, thank you for the incredible Outlander series. I learned so much history in those books! Both Scots and American, plus some French.
    My ex picked the book Fiery Cross to give to me one Christmas years ago, thinking it was a Christan book and it would satisfy me as a gift. hahahaha Little did he know it was the beginning of an amazing experience through history, love, war, family drama, and everything that makes these books so wonderful! I, like others, have read them more than a couple of times along with my 24 yr old daughter.
    Okay…reeeally lastly. Gerard Butler as Jamie? oooh pullleeeease??!!??
    Peace, Love and Liberty

  5. Just a quick note about the registry, it is SO easy now. I registered about a bazillion years ago, and yes, that is word because I say so, and I had to have 12 vials of blood drawn and then send it out express mail.

    Last year I nagged my husband into doing it and all he had to do was stick a giant Qtip in his mouth and mail it in a postage paid envelope. What a difference. It costs nothing but time to take the first step.

    I, too, have never been called, but will be there if ever needed. About to enter my fifth decade so they better get it while it’s hot.

    Thanks Diana, I do so enjoy the Outlander series! Have read, and reread them multilple times. Waiting with bated breath for #8.

    Barbara

  6. Another 66 year old male reader here who loves your books and is patiently waiting for MOBY.

    I am Scottish and my grandmother was a Fraser from Abriachan on Loch Ness side.

    My grannie used to swear at us in Gaelic when we annoyed her but my dad would never translate for us. I have since figured out most of what she was saying.

    As i am a fast reader i am putting off rereading the previous books again until i get some indication as to a likely publishing date.

    I also have bionic knees (39 years now and they are still going fine) hope yours last as long diana (they should be good for a few more books yet).

    Ken

  7. Dear Diana,

    Thank you for raising awareness of the National Marrow Donor Program – Be the Match Registry on your blog! It has been on my list to do for some time, and I completed my registration today, and will shortly be mailed the “q-tip” registration kit. The registration process was quick and simplified and the FAQ on the Myth/Facts – http://marrow.org/Join/Myths_and_Facts/Myths___Facts_about_Donation.aspx – on the donation process dispels the unfounded fears/concerns around donating (pain, bone loss, lack of anesthesia, etc.)

    Hopefully, I may be called upon to volunteer to an individual needing assistance before my, well, own expiration date of 60!

    Your books have been apart of my life since you published Outlander in 1991; thank you, again, for your masterful literary gifts to all of us.

  8. I’ve been a Be The Match participant for years also. I think its a wonderful thing to do. I’ve got 11 more years before my own “expiration” date.

  9. Dear Diana,
    My daughter talked enthusiastically about your books for over a year before I finally “broke down” and agreed to read the first one. After all, we moms must explore those things our children are passionate about in order to enhance our relationships….right? A mother’s duty is never done. Time travel just didn’t get it for me. Hah! I have devoured your series twice and am prepared to begin again. I love the detail, the complexity, the characters, the history…. I could go on. I love the development of the relationship between Jamie and Claire and the fact that it is taking them through their lives. I had pretty much thrown aside romances because they are often so shallow and the characters were one dimensional.
    The only bad thing I could ever say about your books is that they tend to spoil one for picking up something else to read! I find them so unique and I’ve yet to find another that creates as much depth of feeling, at least for this reader.
    By the way, once I’ve finished a book I enjoy I may treasure the memory, but I never reread. There is just too much out there to explore. Never reread, that is until being introduced to Diana Gabaldon.
    Thanks so much!

  10. Thank you Diana for writing the Outlander series. I love them so much, I have read them so many times over. Anyone can feel part of the story, and you cant wait to see what happens next.
    I have been waiting so long for the eighth book, you have no idea how happy I am to see its coming soon. And a TV series, awesome I cant wait to see it.

    Thank you from a very devoted fan.