How a Person I’ve Never Met Changed My Perspective
Posted by Shannon Hart
How many of us often wonder what is our purpose in life? Do any of us really know? And if so, how do you know?
Last summer, while I was going through a rough patch and feeling sorry for myself, I received a very unexpected phone call early one morning. At first I almost hung up, believing that it was a telemarketer – until the person on the other end said, “You signed up to be a bone marrow donor in 2007. You are a possible match.”
I was still a little groggy and in a little bit of a shock that this could be happening, but I suddenly felt a peace come over me. I thought maybe this was a sign telling me I had a purpose in life after all.
The nurse on the phone asked some questions and told me that the person in need was a 36-year-old male with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. What usually happens is the doctor and patient explore all options, and if they decide a bone marrow transplant is best, then I would be subjected to a few blood tests before proceeding. I wouldn’t know anything unless they decided to go with the transplant.
But I had questions, too. My biggest concern was about the process being a very painful one, because that seems to be the popular rumor. She said it’s not like it used to be, that the donor is put under anesthesia and most people are back to normal within a few days or so.
When we hung up I did some research on the “Be the Match” donor website. I realized that a week of “pain” to save someone’s life is well worth it. I considered the time I was in labor pain for about 20 hours when I gave birth to my daughter (not to mention the pain and anguish during her teenage years 😉 ), so this would be easy for me. I decided to proceed with the paperwork and sent in what they needed. Then a friend reminded me that her son had the same disease, and that a bone marrow donor saved his life. I knew I had to agree to do this if I was a match, and I didn’t think twice about it.
I haven’t heard anything since, so I’m assuming that the patient decided against the transplant. However, the phone call itself changed me. Here I was stressing over things in life that I had some control over and worrying about why I am on this planet. And here was this 36-year-old guy being told his life is in danger; he most certainly had legitimate concerns. Boy, did I feel like a wuss!
Whoever you are, 36-year-old guy, you don’t even know it, but I want to thank you for changing my life perspective. Maybe that is part of your purpose for being here.
*To register to be a bone marrow donor, visit BeTheMatch.org