The nurses at Georgetown University Hospital gifted me a "Hero" bag w/ a shirt too! They said these are given to those who donate bone marrow. I am no hero though. I am just a kid from Richmond/San Pablo that wandered around believing in fairytales (Black Panther reference). I always dreamed of making an impact in the world. Poor decisions and misguidance as a youth derailed that at times. My life has been full of good fortunes recently - thanks largely to friends, supervisors/mentors, and In-n-Out!
But I am no hero. I am just someone operating in a privileged space of health to donate bone marrow/stem cells to help save a complete stranger's life. 10 years ago, I enlisted on the Be The Match registry for a free t-shirt. Seemed like a fair deal. They get my saliva swab, I get a shirt. Flash-forward 10 years, and I'm here. It's not a fair deal. I can never repay the recipient or the program the closure this has brought me. Because nearly 8 years ago, my best friend committed suicide. I vowed to turn myself around. I also sought Redemption (which I have tatted on my arm in the pic). I needed Redemption. For me, this would only come in the form of getting to save another's life. 6 years ago, someone died before me. I couldn't save them. Yet, I harbored so much guilt, convinced that Redemption would never intersect with my life.
But I got the call. I was a match. For an urgent case! The thrills of Redemption were short-lived when I was informed the recipient couldn't accept a donation at the time for whatever reason. Another missed chance! Redemption is so damn elusive!
Then I got another call a month later. We were back on! Case became extremely urgent & recipient can now accept a donation! In between PhD interviews, field work, and research, I made time for physicals and blood work. Earlier today, I finally captured Redemption. I am no hero. I simply searched and waited for this privilege to make right with world that I have wronged. Thank you, to the complete stranger who allowed me to find peace. I am no hero. Just someone who is trying do justice in this world for deceased friend.
Considering joining the registry w/ Be The Match!
Simply go here: https://join.bethematch.org/richmondlyfe