Make Me Stronger

A call to action. A cry for help. An opportunity for you to realize your power to give strength to someone affected by a blood cancer (Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma). Get involved. Make someone stronger.

Save a Life, Change the World

AlanaNote: Story contributed by Alana Shultz, a bone marrow donor and hero who helped to save a life. 

I can’t imagine how anyone with the rare ability to save another’s life could dodge the responsibility. We are taught that when you save a life, it is as if you save an entire world. I know this first hand.

On February 18, 2003, I donated my stem cells to my “blood sister” Anat in Israel. Ten years later, she is living happy and healthy and cancer-free with her loving husband and beautiful baby. A complete stranger back then, she is now one of my dearest friends. But I would never have had the chance to meet her if I didn’t agree to the donation.

In her “emergency situation” as I was told, I was her one hope for life. That made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. And I will forever be grateful for the random day I walked into the student center at my university to join the bone marrow registry. I won life’s greatest lottery. I didn’t care what kind of pain or inconvenience I might suffer by donating. I just felt so blessed that by some Power and medical miracle, we were found to be genetic matches, living thousands of miles apart. Like a soul mate, we were destined to come together in this way. I could never refuse the opportunity.

It turned out that the donation process was completely free, simple, without pain, and the most meaningful two days of my life. The doctors called me their hero and gave me the VIP treatment. I was back in class the next day and at the gym a week later. My life resumed with barely a disruption and an invisible mark on my jugular vein. But what mattered most, was that Anat’s life was able to resume, and flourish.

My plea is that everyone join a bone marrow registry NOW: www.makemestronger.com, www.marrow.org, www.giftoflife.org.

AND, if you are told that you are a potential match, DO IT!  Listen and learn of the potential risks, but DO IT, because the dangers are too great if you don’t. Gifting an entire lifetime is priceless. There’s no more meaningful way to spend a few days of your own life than by being able to give life in the form of your stem cells or bone marrow to someone else. Just sit and relax while the doctors and medical machines work their magic. Please, don’t ever turn down the chance to be someone’s hero, especially when it can come so easily to you.

Anat now has my blood running through her veins, and in return, I live with the precious knowledge that I saved an entire world by enabling her life to go on.

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This entry was posted on March 11, 2013 by in Story.

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