Karma Krusade – Be the Match

>> Friday, November 12, 2010

Wowza, what a week!
I hesitated writing this piece because at first glance all I could see was a big honking FAIL. After I removed myself from the emotional letdown I could see it far differently. So why don’t I let you in on the story…
Several days ago my boss was walking around passing out these fliers.

As this fluttered to my desk and I caught sight of this beautiful little boy I dropped what I was doing to read the message.
Born 8 weeks premature with Down Syndrome, Logan was just diagnosed with Leukemia. Three years old and barely broken out of his alabaster egg, this gorgeous little monkey is now facing the battle of his lifetime.
Let me tell you as a parent to a child with special needs my heart chipped a tiny bit.
For those of you who don’t know – my son who was adopted at birth was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at 3 years old. Looking at this picture of Logan I realized my child was probably only a chromosome or two away from his conditions.

For the next day I scoured the Internet researching the process of donation bone marrow. There are two options depending on the patient.
The first is a sort of mini-dialysis. Injections to bolster blood-forming cells are given for several days before your blood (now full of life-giving nectar) is drawn. It’s removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separate out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm. Not too bad until I read that it can take up to 6 hours. Yikes~

The other method of donation is liquid marrow is withdrawn under general anesthesia from the back of the pelvic bone. This procedure can be done locally or the donor is asked to travel to the patient’s home state…gee, hadn’t thought about that.

My rational brain keep needling me (no pun intended)….what about side effects, what about the recovery time, what about time off from work, what about medical expenses, what about hopping on a cross-country plane?

Weighing all the factors and fears my eyes kept coming back to Logan’s and thoughts of countless other leukemia patients filled my soul….what if it were my son….what if I could help save a life…

How awesome would it be to leave this earth knowing that my days here had some meaning…that I left it and someone I didn’t even know in a better place.

Taking a deep breath and squashing all those nervous pterodactyls in my stomach I logged onto the website “Be the Match” to sign on to be a bone marrow donor. I planned to drive across town to have the cheek swab done next week and firm up my registration. (gulp…Honey, guess what I did today!)

My heart sank….when I got to the medical history portion of the registration it turns out I am not a donor candidate. Genetic back problems came rearing their ugly head; my marrow was not going anywhere.

The disappointment hung for hours until the light of what I had actually done hit me. The significance of what I planned to do hadn’t changed – merely the path. I had sent out good intentions and love to all the leukemia patients worldwide!
So, what have you got to lose? Life is just too precious to waste…just ask Logan.

You and I are totally free to live the kind of life we want. I want mine to have had more value than just acquiring stuff and living comfortably. I may die rich. I may die poor. But I won’t die with my good intentions still in me.
Love and gratitude


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