25 Years of Life Saved – Celebrating My Sister’s Survival

Today is the day that my sister Nora and I celebrate every year.  For Nora, it is the day that 25 years ago, as a 4 year old, she got the bone marrow transplant that saved her life.  For me, it is the day that 25 years ago I was able to provide the life saving marrow.

Nora and Sharon at Disney

Nora and author on our recent trip to Disney

I am 27 years old today – doing the math, that means I was only 2 years old when I became a bone marrow donor.  Obviously it was not my decision and I do not even have any memory of it.  However, if I was given the choice today, I would say yes without hesitation.

As Nora says every year on this day, there were so many people and organizations that contributed to her survival.  Thank you to everyone who supported our family, supported cancer research, and who made our lives as they are today possible.  Without you, I would not have a healthy, talented, funny, and vibrant older sister.  I also would not be on the path I am today, so grateful for the blessings we’ve had and so eager to give back.

Below are a list of organizations that have contributed to our family’s health and happiness and are continuing to make life possible for families affected by cancer. Please consider supporting these organizations in any way that you can.

Nora and Sharon in life jackets

Nora and I on a family vacation several years ago

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13 responses to “25 Years of Life Saved – Celebrating My Sister’s Survival

  1. Hi, This is Nora and Sharon’s mom. Some people think that being a bone marrow donor is very painful, so they hesitate to sign up. Signing up is easy and requires just a blood test. Even the next stage, where you have been identified as a potential donor is easy – just a blood test. The actual donating is done under anesthesia and your hip bone(s) might hurt for a few days but what is that bit of pain if it saves someones life? You can take pain pills. The odds are slight that you will ever be called on. I was called for further testing but no further. My husband has never been called on for further testing. But we would have donated without a moment’s hesitation if we had had the chance. So, please, register to be a donor!!!

  2. Hi, this is Nora and Sharon’s cousin Amy. An addition to Aunt Melinda’s comment above – you no longer even have to get a blood test to get entered into the donor bank. They now do the preliminary check by a easy DNA swab. When you sign up, they send a swab to you in the mail and you simply give a quick wipe of your check and send it back through the mail. You can send it right through a mailbox – you don’t even have to go to the post office! It really couldn’t be much easier. I often think of how lucky we were that Sharon was a match for Nora, and I think if she hadn’t been, what having a donor from the bank would have meant to our family. I only hope someday I can give back by being a match for another family. For more info: http://www.marrow.org/

    Sharon, thanks for this entry.

  3. I’m celebrating with you! Congratulations, Nora! What a wonderful tribute, Sharon!

  4. Hi Sharon – did you know I’m a kidney donor? Such a gift to be able to give. Thanks for sharing! I don’t tell too many people, but I often wonder if I should so that folks know its so easy and I haven’t had any complications. But its such an odd thing to bring up…In any case – congratulations!

  5. I have been a donor twice – in 2004 to a 2 year old and again in 2010 to a sixty four year old. I am not related to either of the two recipients. The procedure is a little painful but worth it.

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