The Gift of Giving
As Luke and I have taken a little detour from our travels this month I thought I would share with you what we have been up to instead. Stay tuned for more info on what else we have been doing this month.
We have been down in the Vancouver area since the beginning of November, the main reason being that my brother needed a bone marrow transplant, and I was a perfect match for him. I’ve known since 2007 that I was a match for him and that one day down the road he would possibly need my stem cells, but it seemed to come a lot sooner than either of us anticipated. It has never been a question in my mind that I would do this for him, and I’ve been surprised by how many people have commented on how good of me it is that I am doing this. I found out that only 40% on siblings are a perfect match, and there are a lot of people who really struggle to find a compatible donor.
I won’t say it’s easy being a bone marrow donor (although there is no drilling into the bone anymore, it’s done by separating stem cells out of your blood), there is a lot of time that goes into this and some discomfort. Ideally you would be a male (or a female who has never been pregnant) under the age of 35 with nice big veins. But there are a lot of other ways to help people if this seems a little daunting, donating blood and making sure you are an organ donor are big ones.
Anyway, today my brother is doing well. The transplant was last week and so far things are looking good. It’s been an honour and a privilege for me to be able to help him this way and I wouldn’t change it for anything, except maybe him not having cancer in the first place. I guess what I am trying to say is (in the least cheesy way possible) cherish your loved ones and the time you have together, but also think about how you could change someone else’s life, or even save a life with a gift.