Monday, August 2, 2010


This weekend was a blessed one, to say the least.

We marveled in the beauty of some of God's creatures:

We admired the nature that God created:

We danced:
My aunt teaching my cousin to 2 step

We cherished God's children:
My two youngest cousins, also known as the TWINS! How adorable are they??

My grandma reading to two of the baby cousins

There were some tears!

We cherished the time spent with our family members:
Cousins hay bail jumping

My dad getting a (loving) right hook from my cousin

But most importantly, we celebrated LIFE.

The life of one of our family members...

Ryan, the bone marrow donor, on the left; Thomas, the marrow receiver, on the right

...and the 21 year old who gave selflessly to a stranger to save his life.

Thomas, his parents, and his siblings with Ryan

Blessed really is the only way to sum up the weekend in one word.

I know I promised you a recap of Ryan's experience as a donor so here it goes:

Ryan, a 19 year old (at the time) Clemson student, was swabbed for the bone marrow registry when his ex-girlfriend's family member was fighting leukemia, hoping that he would be a match for her. He wasn't.

But 2 months later he got a phone call saying that he was a potential match for someone else...a stranger. They asked him to come in for further testing to determine if he was indeed a match.

At this point I asked Ryan "So did you hesitate at all?"

His response: "No. Why would I? If I could give someone something that I didn't need that would help them survive, why would I ever NOT do that?"

Amazing, right?

So he went in for the testing and had TONS of blood drawn.

Then a few weeks later he got another call. This time they said that he WAS a match for a leukemia patient.

He immediately agreed to go through with the procedure and donate his marrow.

For the procedure, Ryan was put under with general anesthesia and then the doctors inserted large needle-like things into his lower back/butt area over and over again, harvesting his bone marrow.

He was able to leave the hospital that evening without being admitted overnight. He said the only pain was his lower back/butt felt like it got kicked really hard for about a week.

He even returned to college classes the following day after the procedure, although he didn't recommend this. :)

And that was it. Immediately after they harvested Ryan's marrow it was flown to the hospital where Thomas was and they started pumping it into his body.
And that was the beginning of Thomas' new cancer-free story.

I truly don't think Ryan realizes just how selfless he really is. His laid back personality seemed to think it was no big deal at all. It was really amazing.

I loved getting to know him and I loved hearing his story.

Don't forget to order your kit and get registered.

You never know when you could be the next Ryan for some other family.


  1. Such a great story! He sounds like a really amazing person.

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  3. Wow, what a great story... what a self-less person!

    It looks like you had a wonderful weekend :) What a great family!

  4. I still can't believe that your family was able to find him and get him to agree to come to Texas and meet all of you!! It's amazing and wonderful!

  5. Amen! We are very blessed indeed!


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