Some decisions we make have lifelong impacts and can literally change lives. In September of 2001, after responding to a community outreach looking for a stem cell match for a young boy in Toronto, I was called by Canadian Blood Services as a potential unrelated stem cell donor, and after further testing I successfully donated.
The part of the story I wanted to share was the fact that the recipient's family wrote a letter to me through Canadian Blood Services telling me that their Mother was the recipient and although she passed away, she was able to come home from the hospital and they had several more months together that, for them, was a gift they would always cherish.
It's been over 15 years and I still feel a sense of loss because the recipient still passed away, but I also feel great that I was able to help. I am still registered with OneMatch and I would definitely donate again if a match is found.
Ironically, I am now the Director of Donor Relations in Ontario and work with an amazing team who work tirelessly to recruit new stem cell and new blood donors to help other families who desperately need blood and blood products across the country.
I would urge others to register now so they too could experience the amazing feeling you get doing what you can to help a complete stranger. It's truly incredible.