Today is my 3rd birthday! Three years ago I received a stem cell transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center. For the past week, I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking.
Thinking about Robert, my donor. It was because of Robert’s totally unselfish, brave, and life saving act of donating his stem cells to a complete stranger, that I am writing this post today. He was 19 years old at the time. Even if he wasn’t my donor, I would still be completely impressed with Robert! We had a great time together last summer in Chicago, along with my husband, Wade, Robert’s girlfriend, Theresa, and friends, Josh and Nicole. Since Robert and I both like baseball, we attended a major league game in Chicago, the White Sox vs the Yankees (on that very day it was decided A-Rod could play…we sat 13 rows above 3rd base, and it was awesome!). One perfect moment of this trip was getting a cab with Robert that had a Be The Match ad on top of the car with a photo of Robin Roberts! It was mind blowing, and I really don’t feel like it was a random thing!
Thinking about how my life has changed. I have a new ability to see people and things differently. Call it intuitiveness, perceptiveness, achtung. My priorities have changed. I see things differently. I have felt more connected to people, more caring toward people. Just one example…last year while staying at the Greenbriar in West Virginia,I felt compelled to make friends with the doorman who has been employed there for more than 50 years. We became great friends, and have in fact, corresponded. His name is Frankie, and he is a loveable, perfect gentle man. He was very cautious not to breech any confidentialities, but did tell me Bob Hope was one of his favorite guests! He was going to church that night and put me on their prayer list. Here is a photo of Frankie and me. (And go to the Greenbriar if you can! It is an unbelievable place!)
Thinking about MD Anderson Cancer Center, what a great institution it is, and how many lives they have saved. Thinking about how caring and professional the staff is. And my Awesome Doctors! They truly are the best, the cream of the crop, unparalelled. Dr.Garcia-Manero, my MDS doctor, and Dr. Hosing, my stem cell transplant doctor. I can’t thank them enough!
Thinking about my husband Wade, my care giver. He truly gave me the best care in the most loving, understanding way. He provided me the opportunity to receive the best care in the world at MD Anderson. And his caring and love never ends! Thank you Wade!
Thinking about my family and the sacrifices they have made for me, and the unconditional love they have for me. Thinking about my adorable grandchildren whom I love deeply am able to act normal and crazy with now that I am well. This thought brings me back to Robert…
Thinking about Robert, who made this all possible for me. Thinking about how thankful I am for him. Thinking about how alike (but different) we are. Thinking about how much I love him. Thinking about how excited I am to see him and Theresa in just 3 1/2 weeks! Thinking about how it was a “meant to be” thing that he joined the Be The Match registry.
It’s been a wonderful, eye-opening, blessed, amazing journey! Thank you Robert!
Wade, Holly, Robert, Theresa