Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yes, you can help

I don't understand this. It always seems to take someone famous to get sick or to die or to tell their story to make people realize that they could get it too and that they can help.

Earlier this week, Shannon Tavares who starred as Nala in the Lion King on Broadway died of AML or acute myeloid leukemia. She died because doctors were unable to find a bone marrow match in time.

Apparently now there is increased interest by the general public in becoming a bone marrow donor. Well, you always have had the option of becoming a bone marrow donor. This isn't different. Its just now a lot more people have become aware of it since she died.

I don't know I sometimes wonder if people live in a cocoon thinking that 'it couldn't happen to me' - whether its cancer, MS, car accident, house fire, or any other number of other 'bad karma events'. They are protected by this bubble of safety that will prevent it from happening to them.

Then when 'bad karma' happens to them or someone they know or admire, they realize it CAN happen to them. Then they jump on the bandwagon and want to help.

What they don't realize is that they always could have helped. They just didn't bother. There are lots of ways to help out. Do you donate to charities, do give blood, would you donate bone marrow, do you volunteer anywhere? Not everyone can do everything. My husband can't donate blood because he lived in Europe during the 1980s when there were fewer restrictions on Mad Cow beef but he does give weekly to the Red Cross through a payroll deduction.

Can you take a minute to think about how you can help others? If you are too busy to do something, can you donate money? Even $10 helps. If you have no money, can you help in your local school, hospital, or library by reading to children, usher at an event, donate blood or register for bone marrow donation?

Helping others isn't limited to money. It can be in lots of different ways. Its part of humanity to be kind to others. So yes you can help. Its just too bad that often someone has to die before people realize it.


Cynthia said...

Thank you for writing about this, Caroline. In the midst of my cancer treatment I listened to a podcast interview with a mother of a mixed race child who was in dire need of a bone marrow transplant. The odds of finding a match were very poor. And yet, she was upbeat, enthusiastic and very very hopeful. Basically, her message was, please register. You have no idea for whom you will be a match. And, for most donors, the pain associated with the procedure is easily managed with Tylenol - she compared it to the pain of a strenuous workout. By the end of that day my husband had started the process of registration (clearly I can't!). He also gives blood and platelets and has for a long time now. It is so easy. If people knew how easy it was, and how good it felt to be doing something, more would do it.

Let's keep getting the word out!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry about your situation and I feel your pain,my sister is a survivor too,she would have died,because the tumor growth has reached a critical level,but thanks to an ad I saw online(actually a testimony) about a tradomedical doctor.who helped a woman who had breast cancer.we contacted her.anyway the pain is a thing of the past.if you really want to know more or contact her,
contact me

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