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Saturday, August 28, 2004


Yesterday a good friend of mine came over to visit with her 6 mos old son. He is adorable and I loved snuggling his soft fuzzy head. She brought her other children also, but they are not nearly as cute and wonderful smelling at 9yrs and 12 yrs old ;-) She also brought her youngest sister, Chelsea, with her who is 13 yrs old. She picked her up from a sleep away camp that is located near my home.

Chelsea is a cancer survivor. The camp she attends every year is for children who have cancer or who have survived cancer.

My friend just got a phone call a few weeks ago that she was a match for someone on the bone marrow donor list. She has been on the list since her sister was diagnosed with cancer and, despite there being 5 siblings in the family, did not have a match within the family.

She is the sole match for a woman who has cancer. An unknown woman to us, but probably the world to someone else.

After my friend had the preliminary interview with the nurse to make sure she was still interested and able to be a donor, she got a phone from the woman's oncologist. He called to tell her more about the bone marrow transplant and how it would be done, before he had her go for the final bloodwork to confirm the match.

He explained the new way that they harvest bone marrow from the donor. I can only explain in in my very non-technical un-doctor way. Basically they will inject my friend with a bunch of rather potent drugs to stimulate her own bone marrow production. To remove the bone marrow is a simple procedure just like donating blood, no general anesthesia required anymore, no recovery period or pain, and it is supposed to result in better bone marrow. However, he explained, the drugs are very strong and remain in your body for a long time. Therefore, she would have to stop nursing her baby... for good.

I thought of my SIL who died 13 mos ago after fighting cancer for a year and a half. I remember how we were so hopeful when she went in for her bone marrow transplant. I remembered how we prayed it would buy her more time. She never came out of the hospital after it.

I held my 3 mos old daughter, whom she never got to meet, at her funeral. If I could have helped my SIL, I would have done it. I would have weaned my daughter in a heartbeat. Of course, this wasn't even an option in this case, but hypothetically speaking I know without a doubt that I would have done it. But that would be easy, to do something for someone you love.

My friend is going to do it. For someone she doesn't even know. Because that someone is important to someone else.

I am proud to call her my friend.


Blogger Jody said...

What a wonderful story!

It is so uplifting to the soul to hear of such a selfless, giving person.

Thank you.

11:06 AM  

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