Monday, November 28, 2005

the gift that gives a second chance

Last night I caught up with a good college friend, Dimitri, over the telephone. Many months had passed since we last talked and so our conversation last night was long over due. Prior to our conversation I had been told by another close Vassar friend, Ben, that he had donated his own bone marrow a few months back. As a transplant candidate, I am of course very familiar with the subject of marrow donation and thus, was immensely proud to learn that one of my own friends did such a selfless and remarkable deed. His willingness to offer his own marrow might indeed have saved someone's life and thus, resuscitated not only the hopes and dreams of the patient but also his or her family and friends.

Dimitri didn't know, however, about my diagnosis. But I broke the news and explained to him that I was in need a stem cell transplant. I told him that I'm scheduled for an autologous stem cell transplant, which means I will use my own stem cells and will not need marrow/stem cells from a donor but still I just wanted him to know that I was moved so greatly by the great gift that he gave. Dimitri gave a fortunate patient the gift of a second chance at life. How cool is that! Honestly, I felt as if I was personally involved in that whole affair. I have grown sensitive to the issue of blood and marrow/stem cell donation due to my own situation. Nevertheless, the most remarkable thing that I learned during my conversation with Dimitri was that it wasn't the only time that he had donated marrow. My friend donated 2 additional times. His first was a marrow donation whereas the two succeeding donations were stem cells. Amazing I told him. He, like the hundreds of others who donate marrow/stem cells, are the real superstars.

In thinking about my amazing friend, I'm reminded of my neighbor in the hospital, Nick. While I was there most recently for the 2nd cycle, I learned from him that one of his two sisters turned out to be a perfect marrow donor match. How fantastic is this! Upon hearing this, I felt my eyes become teary. I can only imagine the relief and immense joy that this news brought Nick and his family.

To learn how you can donate bone marrow/stem cells and thus, give someone a second chance at life please click the National Marrow Donor Program logo above.


Comment Blogger Aeschulus said...

Hel-lo! It's totally B, English Muffins! OMG! Ya see, I'm off donating Marrow, and someone else is off becoming a Millionaire! Ha! I would have guessed Wisconsin :-)

Thanks for your kind thoughts, I try, I try :-) I just hope and pray that you'll be alright and come through this with nary a scratch!

OMG! And Yellow!!! The Lance Armstrong things are Yellow :-) Take it from a sometimes cyclist :-) That totally rocks, I'm so proud of you! :-)

9:22 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

I know that I totally embarrassed myself on the question about Thomas English Muffins. Oh please don't rub it in! ;) Trust me, it's crazy in that Hot Seat. Anyway, I'm glad you approve of my comment. You're the man, D. You're the man.

7:25 PM  

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