The picture below depicts where I was today. The guy in the picture is my nephew Josh. He looks like he's praying but I just took the picture at the wrong time. I didn't want him to know I was taking the picture, so I couldn't ask him to smile. :)
3 years ago, my nephew had a stem cell transplant at City of Hope. He was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2004 and after many rounds of chemo, it was decided that he needed a bone marrow transplant. No one in the family was a match but he was blessed enough to find a donor in the registry.
Each year, City of Hope has a Bone Marrow Reunion. This year marks their 35th anniversary! Imagine how many lives have been saved!
Everyone who has had a transplant wears a button with the number of years since their transplant. It's kind of fun to look at everyone's button to see how long it's been. The shortest amount of time I saw was 8 months...the longest 20 years.
My favorite part of the day is to see the doctors and nurses out and about hugging patients and posing for pictures. They are the real rock stars in this world.
It's also the hardest part for me. You see, my son had been recommended to City of Hope for a bone marrow transplant but his cancer was resistant to the chemo and they couldn't help him. As I sit there and smile when I see the patient with a head scarf and face mask hugging their doctor and thanking him/her, inside I'm crying because I wish my son had that opportunity.
Now, it's time to head to the Goodwill for some cheap therapy...