JUNE 27, 2013– My mom is one of the strongest women that I have ever known. She battled breast cancer in 1999. She was a young mother with three small children at home, and she beat it…like a boss.
On March 25th, 2013, my parents told me that she had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I never thought that the “C” word (cancer) would dare step foot even near our doorstep again. She had scared it away once and she was bound and determined to do it again. It never seems fair when you hear about someone having to go through it not once, but twice. Fair or not, she had a long journey ahead and my family was going to walk beside her the entire way.
Five rounds of chemotherapy and Mom found herself somewhere unexpected–remission. It was a happy day in our household because we originally were planning on that happening in the fall. But, Mom was fighting the Leukemia faster than we could have ever expected. Let’s just say, she owned the disease. It stands no chance. The next phase of our plan is a bone marrow transplant. And, she is ready to rock and roll.
Working on “The Right Match” has been one of the greatest blessings so far in my journalistic career. My mother granted us a look into an extremely private part of her life with the hope that someone would feel called to act. The thing is, she’s not the only one. There are so many people out there, just like her, that need a bone marrow transplant to live cancer-free. Joining the National Bone Marrow Registry is not painful. It’s a simple swab of your cheek and that’s all they need. There is enough of your genetic material on that simple swab test for them to type you, put you into the registry, and potentially match you to someone who needs your healthy marrow one day. If you can do it, why wouldn’t you? I hope that one day I am able to be a match for someone. I think it would be one of the greatest gifts anyone could ever imagine. Could you imagine GIVING that gift? Even better.
My mom, like most cancer patients, has her good days and she has her bad days. You learn to cherish both. If there is one thing that my mom has taught me, it’s the value of life and love. Don’t take one day for granted. Don’t take one friendship for granted. You never know when your world could be turned upside down. And if you’re lucky, it will turn right side up. And everything will be just fine.