Monday, January 21, 2008

Realizing What is Important

So, as I ponder the post-season in which my favorite football team missed the Super Bowl, I gain a little perspective from this young lady:

Her name is Rachel Rodin and she is a young girl in our community who has recently received a lot of press. Of course, she would gladly exchange that press for a clean bill of health, I'm sure. Rachel and her family are members at our synagogue at The Bay Ridge Jewish Center. Rachel is a year younger than my youngest daughter, Shayna, and they have been in the same Hebrew School class for a couple of years.

Rachel has always been, in my opinion, a bright shining face in the community. All this despite overcoming leukemia a few years back. Alas, the disease has returned and the situation has become grave.

Last Saturday, in an amazing show of local support, hundreds of people in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights were tested in the community to see if they were bone marrow matches for Rachel. Melanie and I were among the scores of people who were inspired by Rachel's struggle to see if we were the needles in the haystack of possible matches.

And although the odds are long that we may be able to help Rachel, in getting tested, we joined the National Marrow Donor Program, and may some day be able to help someone else in need of bone marrow. If it were not for Rachel, I wouldn't be typing this up, linking the program, and helping spread the word.

To me, it was a no-brainer. If one of my children were fighting for their life, I would pray for a donor to emerge out of the population to help give them a fighting chance.

I urge anyone reading this to register and be a potential life-saver. The test is just swabs in the mouth, nothing more. And although donating marrow can be a painful experience, from what I hear, it must be worthwhile if knowing your contribution is changing the lives of people truly in need of help from others.

More on Rachel:

A New York Daily News article here.

We can follow Rachel's condition here.

National Marrow Donor Program
home page here. By exploring the page, or clicking here, you can find when and where the next drive will be in your neck of the woods.

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