Options. I can characterize my life by the abundance of options. Having had the option to have so many options, I have become something of an ingrate. This is something I actively attempt to undo on a daily basis.
Fear, in essence, is an option. There are those who run away from their fears, and then there are those who face them head on. I think I fall somewhere in between. But then there are those cases where fear transcends being fear and transforms into reality. Fear is no longer an option but is now the life you are living.
I don't normally do this, but it's been a pressing concern. I don't know how many people read this blog of mine, but I need to make a plug for this and I don't care how un-blog/column-like it sounds. One of my cousin's best friends, Michelle, recently got diagnosed with leukemia. She is 25. And while treatment is thus far looking promising, there is someone who has not been so fortunate.
It is incredibly difficult to find a bone marrow match for a minority. If your siblings are not a match, you'd better start searching. Supposedly, for a caucasian, there will typically be up to 15 matches already in the database, but for Vinay Chakravarthy, after having 162 donor drives and 9458 people registered, he's left scrambling. We're talking days, not months or years.
I read an article in the recent Vanity Fair - the Africa edition, guest edited by Bono. And Mr. Grammy winning Do-Gooder-Multi-Hyphenate goes on to say:
"This is an emergency - normal rules don't apply. There are no easy good or bad guys. Do you think an African mother cares if the drugs keeping her child alive are thanks to an iPod or a church plate? Or a Democrat or a Republican? I don't think that mother gives a damn about where that 20-cent pill comes from, so why should we. It can lead to some uncomfortable bedfellows, but sometimes less sleep means you are more awake."
And he's right. How or why you get swabbed is irrelevant. There's this book called the Lazy Environmentalist by Josh Dorfman. Basically, the idea is to seamlessly incorporate green living into your daily routine without altering your quality of life. Modern living seems to revolve around convenience. Go ahead. Be a lazy bone marrow donor. If you are or have any friends who are South Asian (or Chinese-Viet or anything else), please.. what is keeping you? Consider sacrificing one lazy Saturday afternoon, lunch hour at work, or trip to the Fillmore district to get swabbed. You may potentially save a life.
The following site will have all the information you need in terms of procedures and upcoming drives: www.helpvinay.org
Also important to note that after you register to be a donor, please FOLLOW THROUGH and be a COMMITTED donor! Vinay actually found a match, but was devastated to learn that the potential donor decided not to go through with the bone marrow transfer process.