I’m back from my blog break. I had planned on taking off some more time, but there is simply too much fodder that keeps lapping at the heels of my writerly itch. My short but much needed respite has me recharged and ready to roll again.
As my faithful readers know, one of the things I continue to stand behind are the needs of children. I write and volunteer and speak out extensively about issues like education, health care, child abuse, and hunger.
I’ve used this space over the years to share my experiences as a pediatric bone marrow transplant volunteer. Those ten years have moved me and shaped me in ways only second to motherhood. I’ve written about some very special patients and stories that will tear your heart to shreds. I’ve written about the magic of the Ronald McDonald House. I have been so very fortunate and believe volunteering in my community is but one way to show my gratitude. Call it paying my dues, paying it forward, call it what you will. I lead a charmed life. And I promise you I don’t take it for granted.
It’s easy to write about issues that blaze my spirit toward action. It’s easy to be motivated by media stories and chance encounters. It is another thing entirely to write about people I know personally, especially children. My friend’s young daughter has been diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. She is a first grader at my sons’ school, and she has eyes that will melt the coldest of hearts. She needs a bone marrow transplant. As a mother, I cannot wrap my head around what it must have been like for my friend to hear these words. I shut down the part of my brain that likes to play the What If? game.
Lucia is a typical little six-year old girl. She likes fairies, horses, and American Girl dolls. She loves playing with her big sister and her aptly named dog Wonderful. Lucia will go through quite a journey on her road to recovery. In a nutshell, her bone marrow has stopped working. This means that Lucia’s little body is not producing red or white blood cells or platelets. Yet another thing we all take for granted…When’s the last time you paid any attention to your platelets?
As Lady Luck can be cruel, Lucia’s sister is not a match. This is where you come in. We can do our part as a community to help.
Please join us on Saturday, September 8 10:00 – 1:00 at Wiley Elementary School at 301 St. Mary’s Street in Raleigh, NC for a bone marrow drive.
We need everyone age 18 – 60 to come get tested. Ages 18-44 are urgently needed! Did you know that you are ten times more likely to be called as a match between the ages of 18-44 years of age? I’m about to turn 44 and will be there! If you aren’t a match for Lucia, you just might be someone else’s life saver.
To be tested requires a simple, painless cheek swab. No pain but lots to gain.
It costs $100 to test bone marrow donors and add them to the national registry. You do not have to pay to be tested! Patients like my friend’s daughter rely on all sorts of support to get through this ordeal. If you can’t join us for the bone marrow drive, you can still help. Check out the Love for Lucia page and donate what you can, help spread the word, get tested in your own home town, share Lucia’s story.
You have the power to save a life. That trumps all super heroes.
In closing, here’s something to give you a nudge. Talk about moxie…