A little over a week ago something happened that amazed me, but not in the positive way I usually write about here. More in the horrified way. I learned, that a preschool classmate of my son’s has had a relapse of cancer. Baylor, now a 7-year old second grader, missed months of Kindergarten in the hospital getting chemotherapy. The cancer seemed to be beat, and he went back to his life as a healthy, basketball-playing, sweet boy, brother, son, family member, and friend.
Now he’s had a relapse and needs a bone marrow transplant. His ancestry is Japanese/German, and so a match is most likely to be someone of Asian/Caucasian descent. There are no matches within his family. He’s back in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy and waiting for a match.
Alongside this situation that no one would choose, something of the uplifting sort of amazing stands: the power of community. I saw people respond so quickly to this situation (and I know I’m not seeing it all). Within days people were bringing the family meals and groceries, offering moral support, and setting up bone marrow drives. Getting out the word to find Bay a match has spread person to person, community to community, far and wide. A Match for Bay, a Facebook page that didn’t exist a week ago, has over 1200 likes. A press release posted on Facebook this morning was shared 36 times in its first hour up. When I’ve posted and emailed about the situation, friends and acquaintances who don’t even know Bay share. I hate that this is happening to this dear boy and his family, but am heartened to see how quickly and strongly we can take action for one another.
So let’s celebrate the power of community, and while we’re at it, please help find a match to save this precious boy’s life—all it takes is a test swab in the cheek to find out if someone is a match. The information is in the poster below, plus more Northern California bone marrow drives are listed at the Asian American Donor Program website.
Thank you, communities. Thank you, helpers. Thank you, those who ask for help.
Update 6/21/2014: Baylor still urgently needs a bone marrow match. Volunteers are needed at bone marrow drives as well. Please share and help. Current information is at: A Match for Bay