13 was always a lucky number for my family. My dad said so, and that’s pretty much the only reason. It’s held true though, and my second son was actually born on April 13th. Even that day, it crossed my mind how hilarious yet unsurprised my Dad would have been by it. Maybe I’ll be able to make sense of all this one day. I’ve been saying for a decade that I want to save someones life before I die, and there’s always a chance I’ll #bethematch for someone since I was able to join the registry. My wife can’t join because of her cancer, and she’s kind of bummed about it. (it’s one of the first disqualifying questions) It’s pretty easy to join this system, and you could save someone’s life. It took me about 2 minutes to answer the questions. If you aren’t disqualified for a medical condition, they’ll send you a cheek swab Qtip thingy that you rub on your cheek and return to them. A few weeks later you’ll be in their system. In the rare chance you recieve the blessing of being someone’s genetic twin, the registry will contact you.
As my son is ending his run of chemotherapy to “condition” his body to recieve the new bone marrow, the donor will get a shot for 4 days leading up to what is called “day zero.” The day before my son gets the transplant, the donor will give his blood (video above) , which now because of those 4 shots, has stem cells in it. A courier, probably not a bicycle courier, will bring the blood from wherever the donor lives to Chicago.
“If I followed my better instincts right now, I would put this typewriter in the Volvo and drive to the home of the nearest politician, any politician, and hurl the God damn machine through his front window. Flush the bugger out with an act of lunatic violence, then soak him down with mace and run him naked down main street in Aspen with a bell around his neck and black lumps all over his body from the jolts of a high-powered “Bull Buster” cattle prod, but old age has either mellowed me or broken my spirit to the point where I will probably not do that, at least not today.” -HST
“No trauma has discrete edges. Trauma bleeds. Out of wounds and across boundaries.” -Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams: Essays