Saturday, September 4, 2010

The rest of the story...The Power of Seed

There is more that needs to be told about the connection I made because of this cute little heirloom marigold, Pinwheel or Jolly Jester as it is alternately called.

There is much more.

As I wrote in a previous blog entry, I was contacted by the aunt of a young man who was dying. She wanted to find some marigold seed to hand out to people who would be attending his memorial service. Marigolds were his favourite flower.

As it turned out, I could help. I did have the seed, courtesy of an early season, cleaned it up, packeted it and mailed it off to her with my very best wishes.

There was some very important information that I didn't tell, that I know his family would very desperately want to be shared. And I know he would too.

Here goes.

I received word today from his aunt that David passed away peacefully and in the arms of his family yesterday, September 3rd. Rest his soul.

I didn't know him. Only because of the request for seed did I become aware of him and an issue that he and his family publicized nation wide - the dire need for bone marrow donors.

David was born with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, diagnosed at 6 months of age. This is an autosomal recessive disorder, which can lead to fatal complications, such as leukemia as it did in David's case.

But the onset of this disease was rapid. David had been a student at Trent University, apparently a voracious learner. And happy.

This summer he learned after experiencing some aches and pains, that he had advanced leukemia. And his family began getting the word out they needed help, as did many, many others.

In Canada, at present, there are about 800 people waiting for a life saving match.

In David's case, finding the right donor could have been life saving. Clinics were held in his hometown of Oakville, with the hope that a match would be found. But apparently finding a match is like "finding a needle in a haystack" I have read.

It seems to me then, that the more people who attend a clinic to have their bone marrow tested, the wider the pool of possible matches. And according to David's aunt, it is a simple swab on the inside of the mouth. I understand that the data is registered in a system that lists potential donors world-wide.

There is a clinic being held on Tuesday, September 7 at the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital for OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network. Or ask your doctor more about this process and how you can be involved.

Please give some consideration to this way that you can make a difference and possibly help others.

We are really all in this together.


Tiffany said...

I've read about this boy in the Toronto Star. There is a story in today's paper about him. Very sad. It made me wish I had known early and could have offered up my cheek, but I read that Canadian Blood Services has been slow in testing for a match. This is an amazing story, Linda.

Linda said...

You really never do know how people will come into your life and the impact they will have on you.
I will never look at that pretty little flower in the same way again.
I am thinking that when I sell seed for it I will pass all the proceeds along to help with the bone marrow registry (somehow).
I will always think of it as Davids flower.