The Faces of Leukemia. Today

 

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Today the faces of leukemia came from far and wide. Gathered in a small gymnasium to help support a teacher, a mother, a wife, a friend.  They came from church, a walk on a warm Sunday afternoon, they came from the store, Christmas shopping, from watching the football game, but they came. They came to be tested, a simple DNA swab of the cheek looking to be the next bone marrow transplant match!

Today the faces of Leukemia looked me in the eyes. Some cried, many smiled, almost every one of those faces hugged me. People I have never met, people who know people, who know my wife, people who know people, who know other people who know my wife. People.

Today the faces of Leukemia were happy, excited, the way one is excited at an opportunity to win the lottery and  in an offhanded way they did have that chance. Becoming a bone marrow match is truly (in my opinion) an honor. One bestowed upon a “hero”. Because that’s what you are once chosen. A Hero! You now have the ability to change someones fate. Helping save a life simply by donating something you have matching something they need to survive. If that isn’t heroic then I don’t know what is!

Today 193 people made it into Blood Sources registry! ONE HUNDRED NINETY THREE new members of an elite club, praying they are chosen to receive that call! They may never get the call but like winning the lottery even though the chances are slim, you can’t win if you don’t play! And play they did!photo 3

Today the faces of Leukemia continued to come and go, many I knew personally, more I did not. This day, this Sunday in a small school gymnasium, I hugged more people than ever in my meager life. Each and every one of them who asked or just greeted me with a hug received the very best hug I could give. It was least I could do to say thank you on this day, today.

Tonight my heart tonight is overflowing with love.  Emotionally spent, tired, typing this is extremely hard as for once finding the right words to describe these feelings is challenging. My family is like everyone else’s family, we work hard, go to school and church, we donate when we can and always try to help our fellow neighbor. We are nothing special by any means. But today it felt as if my wife was a rock star! She has always been one as far as I am concerned. But I guess our little town thinks so too! So humbling, so amazing, so inspiring, so much love and admiration held for everyone who helped run our bone marrow drive along with every single person who took time from their day to come down.photo 1

Today when we opened the doors at 0900 and started setting up I prayed we would get at least 50 people. 50 people would have been awesome, as 10am rolled around some friends came by and a few more trickled in. My sister was there working a table along with lots of personal friends and coworkers. Standing out front all I could think was dear lord just let us get 50 registered today please! I never ask you for much, I always ask on behalf of someone else, but please help me out today with at least 50 people joining this registry.Then at around 11 am it happened. Cars came in slowly at first then a little more and suddenly we were inundated with people from everywhere! Shaking hands and hugging people I knew, didn’t know, friends, family and acquaintances! They just kept coming and coming and it was, well it was, AWESOME!!!!

Today a community pulled together for one of its own and that person just so happened to be the woman I love, my best friend, my wife. Talking with a dear friend it came to discussion how amazing it is, we all live together, go about our daily routines, passing each other paths without so much as recognition at times and yet when one is in trouble we all head the call. We all band together to protect one of our own and even if you don’t know that person, you may be friends or family with someone who does and that’s good enough for you. Now they are one of your own as well.

Today talking with all the wonderful people of this town it amazed me how true that last statement really was, as through these conversations I knew people in passing. As friends of friends, as family members of other family members, and in realizing this just how connected we all really have become. A community. Six hours came and went in a flash. It was astounding. Reporting home to my wife who was surrounded by close family and friends, she sat in awe of all the fuss. But to me it makes perfect sense. We all touch someone in our lives, some of us are fortunate to touch many people either in spirit or through deed. Jacy is one of those people, she shines brightly on all in her life. She brings a joy and happiness to those around her that is hard to deny. She cares about everyone, is passionate about her students, and loves her family. She is Jacy.

Today I saw the true meaning of community. Today we may have saved someones life.  Today I felt love and compassion on a whole new scale. Today I came home humbled by it all. Today I thanked God for answering my prayers.

Today, is the start of tomorrow. Thank you all for giving me that…

Tonight I will sleep quietly next to my sweet wife, wrapped in the warmth of every single hug I received,

Today.

Still kicking cancers ass one cell at a time!

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