You don’t know me (yet), but I am the 24-year old wife of the 25-year old man you are saving. You don’t know us or our story, but I want you to know that our journey to this day, to this transplant, to you has been long awaited.
All I know about you is your age, your gender, and that you either live or have lived in Europe at some point in your young life. I know that you are a 20-year old male with a beautiful and selfless soul. I know that your priorities are so much greater than mine were when I was 20-years old. I know that, for the past seven days, you have gone out of your way to drive to the hospital to get your Neupogen shots to prepare your body for this donation. I know that you will walk away from the hospital after you’ve donated and wonder if you’ve made a difference, and if your bone marrow will actually change someone’s life. I know that the answer to those questions is a resounding “yes.” I know that all you have been told about Andrew is his age and gender. But what else do you know about us? What do you know about the person that you have disrupted your own life to save? Nothing. All that you know is that someone on this earth is very sick and needs help, but that’s enough for you. You know nothing about me, and I know very little about you, but I love you.
Andrew has been battling for nearly two years now; not just cancer, but he has battled to stay alive. He’s battled through endless chemo treatments, a handful of days in a coma, needles constantly poking and prodding him for blood, days full of vomit, and so many sleepless nights. I don’t tell you these things for sympathy; I tell you these things because I need you to know how hard Andrew has fought to get to this transplant. I tell you this because I need you to know that we don’t take you and this gift for granted. We have struggled and fought so hard for this life, and we thank you for the chance to keep fighting.
Without you, we know Andrew is out of “good” treatment options and all we would be left with would be experimental studies. Without you, we would have to accept that the life that we have dreamt together would never be. Without you, I don’t get to become a mommy and Andrew never gets the chance to be called “daddy.” Without you, we don’t get to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Without you, we don’t get to take our kids to Hinkle Fieldhouse and reminisce on dad’s incredible, back-to-back Final Four runs until they are sick of hearing that story. Without you, cancer runs its course in Andrew’s body because it doesn’t care about our future and the moments it threatens to steal from us.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for your willingness and thank you for being brave. Thank you for swabbing your cheek and getting on the Bone Marrow Registry, not knowing if anything would ever come from it. I find it absolutely incredible to think that when God made you, He knew the marrow running through the cavities of your bones would some day be saving the life of my husband- your 10/10 match. I think of you often and pray for you daily. It is my greatest hope that you truly grasp the gravity of what you’ve done; you have saved Andrew’s life and for that, I owe you everything.
We hope to meet you someday, but until then, know that you are greatly appreciated and deeply, deeply loved.
Andrew’s Bone Marrow Transplant is scheduled for tomorrow, November 6th at 11:00am. He is overall doing well, but certainly starting to feel the nasty effects from the week’s worth of chemotherapy. It seems quite unbelievable that we have not only made it to this day after months of trials and tribulations, but that we have made it to what is going to cure him. It will be years before the doctors ever even consider muttering that word, but we both believe in our hearts that tomorrow is the day that he receives what is going to restore his body. What a gift this is. We hope after reading this open letter to our donor that maybe some of you who have not yet gotten onto the Bone Marrow Registry will consider doing so. It’s not just swabbing your cheek and donating your bone marrow. It’s not just being someone’s hero that day. It’s giving someone the chance to live their life; the chance to have children, to grow old with their spouse, to travel, to laugh, to experience everything that we so often take for granted. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. We have never felt more loved. Please continue to be praying over Andrew tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day for a transplant; probably one of my most favorite days ever.
“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” (Esther 4:14)