This is the national month of pink, where everybody runs and jogs and buys items in pink "for the cure."
Do you believe that? Do you think that buying pink UGG boots, or a pink flashlight, or a can of soup with a pink label, or any of those things on display in stores this month will help anybody like me, who is suffering with cancer?
Do you feel satisfied that if you chose something pink this month that you helped?
Don't be. The only people you are helping when buying any product tagged "awareness" is the company that slapped that label on the product. Being aware of something does not save lives, and catching breast cancer early does not stop it progressing to Stage IV, as I well know. Nobody knows why cancer progresses and almost all of us who are now Stage IV were early stage to start with. Awareness doesn't stop cancer, and the money donated to Koman and their ilk doesn't go towards a cure.
But, you can help. YOU can save somebody's life, and it's so simple. How?
Don't buy pink.
Do this instead:
Immediately contact the Bone Marrow Registry by clicking that link. I want you to sign up online; there is a form right there. They will send you a kit that you will use to swab your cheek, and then send it back to them.
You can then give bone marrow and save somebody's life.
Whose life might you save?
|Kurt is in the back|
How about my son's friend? His name is Kurt. He, too, has been living with cancer, in this case, leukemia. In fact, he had to give up a year of school to deal with this disease. Much of last year he spent in hospitals, sick on very strong chemo. Can you imagine being 15, spending a year in the hospital, your world of teenage fun going on without you? Homecoming and tests and crushes and Science Olympiad and all of the things that make up a teenage kid's life - gone for a TV and a hospital bed?
He and my son have been friends since 4th grade. My son is now a junior, an A student, in the rigorous IB program, which he started in 6th grade, along with Kurt, which is about the time the above photo was taken. After last year's nightmare, Kurt started school again, repeating his sophomore year, now a year behind although no less gifted. He would do well, everybody knew - the support of the entire school community was behind him.
And, then his cancer came back, and he now needs a bone marrow transplant.
My suffering through this experience, knowing it will best me, is difficult. It would be agony to watch my child do it. If I could take on Kurt's cancer, I would. But, I can't help. Maybe you can. True suffering comes from knowing there could be a way to save him, that the right person is out there, but has not given such a simple thing as a cheek swab. Kurt is Asian and he has not found a match on the marrow registry because of his genetic subtype.
So, the favor that I am asking is simple: if you are a reader of mine who does not have cancer, get yourself on the registry. (And, if you had DCIS and are healed, you are still eligible). No excuses. If you are sick yourself, ask your family members and friends, your neighbors to do it for you, in honor of pink. Show them how to really save a life. Do this especially if you are Asian or have have any Asian friends.
If you are a Sacramento media person, let's focus this year on saving Kurt and not another retread of pink. His story should be told. Sacramento Bee, maybe you can help.
Don't be dumb. Don't buy pink. Do something real.
Here is a video that explains the process of marrow donation and how very easy it is.