Here’s to the ones who fall under the media radar. Here’s to the people in your life, who every day find another ounce of strength to push forward. Even when they call you, or text and say, “I’m just beyond my ability to put one foot in front of the other.” You know they will. You know the next call or text will be them dealing with the unimaginable, and they will be rejuvenated, pissed off and fighting the good fight.
This is my friend Laura, at the moment. A human thrown into a fight she “didn’t even have a dog in.” Finding herself in a heart-rending situation; where you stop knowing what day it is and live every moment in slow motion.
Back in November, I was invited to be part of a bone-marrow drive she organized. Laura was preparing for the past few months of horror; with a positive force that was undeniable. You couldn’t/you wouldn’t think of turning down an opportunity to join her drive to healing and fixing something that was so much larger than her.
We garnered a respectable amount of donors and though none were a match, somewhere in the vast sea of humanity, another person was striving faithfully forward with a bone marrow donor drive and they produced a match for Laura’s step-son, Steven. Let the games begin.
Bone Marrow removal is relatively easy and painless for the donor. For the recipient, it is a torturous journey to rebirth, literally. Their blood type changes to the donor’s type. The entire body restarts with a clean slate, a slate with certain characteristics that are uncharted. Pile on the potential problems of infection in a hospital environment, add a dose of human error, and a million avenues for things to go wrong along the way to rebirth.
Laura’s step-son, Steven, and his young wife Christine, faced the “not good,” “not a positive outcome,” and “This requires a medical coma,” over the last few weeks. These are not decisions that one should make alone or from a position of intimacy. This is not what life in your thirties is supposed to look like. Enter Laura, no relation by blood or necessity, yet totally in charge of the need for clarity and compassion that yawned before her.
I don’t know from whence one draws that strength and lucidity, faced with such stress and heartache. I am amazed by the human ability to find that strength and separation, thus enabling forward movement through lack of sleep and perspective. I honor those who every day find their way through the fog.
4 comments on “Every Day Heros”
I agree, and a big hooray for Laura and others like her!
In the UK we have an organisation called the Anthony Nolan Trust where bone marrow donors are registered. It was started by the mother of a little boy (Anthony Nolan). Shirley worked tirelessly to find a donor for her son. Sadly he died, but so many others have a chance because of him. It is amazing what one person can do.
I was surprised at the international scope of the bone marrow registry. While many countries are part of the system, the privacy laws vary greatly. In the US you can eventually find out who your donor/recipient was. Unfortunately, Laura’s step-son lost his battle on Tuesday. My heart goes out to she and her family. It was a long struggle for someone so young.
I am so sorry to hear that. I have been following her blog and saw the post about him. My heart goes out to her and her family.