The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Peter Drucker

I’m back. I departed this keyboard for a few weeks merely because of business distractions and sometimes I just run out of words. As some of you know, in November of 2008 one of my dearest friends, George Gros, was dying waiting for a match for his bone marrow. If a match had been found and transplant completed George would probably be alive today. He died on December 20, 2008.

In an effort to “do something” some of George’s closest friend organized an effort to register prospective donors. We held an event on December 17, 2008 and were able to register 121 folks. Last night, we held an Appreciation Reception to thank everyone that was involved - whether volunteer, financial backer or prospective donor. It was a fun event and simultaneously a somber moment to consider - “What’s really important?” What follows are brief comments about Donor # 121.

“To say this is ironic is over simplifying the message. More correctly this speaks volumes to our naiveté of our vulnerability in life. We believe in ‘seizing the moment’ but maybe don’t truly appreciate how special each moment is. What follows is a true story that spotlights how quickly we can move from helping others to needing help ourselves.

Mid-afternoon on December 17, 2008 a young professional here in town walked to the Sliman to do his civic duty – to do the “Christian” thing – to support a friend in need. He was the last person to qualify as a Bone Marrow Donor at our first event.

Only a few months later – this donor discovered that he has cancer – cancer that might be treated with a Bone Marrow Transplant. He entered as a donor – a benefactor. He became a potential beneficiary. We all have the power to give. We all face the vulnerability to a condition that is life threatening. We are not in control of our destiny. We are in control of our contributions.

All of us here tonight can help – as a volunteer, Donor registrant, or financial contributor. Do what you can. Be selfish – do this for yourself, for your family, for your friends. Also be gracious - do this because it is the right thing to do…

May God bless our last donor in 2008, the same donor that today needs our prayers, and the next one in this room to move from the warm feeling of giving to the terror of having this life threatening condition. Thank you.”

To take time to understand this donor’s goodness and simultaneously realize his and our own vulnerability and the precious nature of life - is important. To hear two sisters talk about their shared Marrow donation experience - one giving and one receiving and 19 years of life as the gift - is important. Finally to hear a father with a son being treated for cancer and preparing for a marrow transplant is important. To hear him say we can’t just try to survive cancer we must CONQUER IT - is really important. Do something important today. (

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