Sunday, September 16, 2012

Throw Me a Bone, or a Kidney

I got some wonderful news recently.  It comes three years after I published my first book, The Marrow in Me.  Most people who read this blog are dog folks.  Bear with me as this has nothing to do with dogs.

Three years ago I published my first book, The Marrow in Me.  It's the story of how I became a very rare bone marrow donor for a teenager I'd never met.  The roots of the journey stretch back to my television days in Hawaii.  It was the greatest gift I ever gave, and the greatest gift I ever received.  Sadly the marrow that was extracted from my pelvis and transplanted into 16-year-old Adam Hardin's body wasn't enough to save his life from and long and very painful bout with leukemia.

Adam Hardin, my marrow recipient

I've long dealt with my grief hoping that someone somewhere would read the book, be inspired to donate, and ultimately save a life.  That would be my validation, my chance to vicariously live the dream I hoped to have with Adam.  That moment finally came, albeit differently.

It turns out an employee of my stepsister, Ellen McGrattan, spotted a copy of The Marrow in Me on Ellen's coffee table in Minnesota.    She borrowed it, read it, and said it gave her the courage she needed to donate a kidney to her nephew.  She saved his life.  In a nutshell the book above did exactly what I wanted it to.  It just used different equipment.

Jade Moon, with left hand on her father and kidney recipient's shoulder

As luck would have it, there's another Hawaii connection to share.  I just learned a woman with whom I shared many a newscast with when we both anchored at KGMB is also a kidney donor.  Jade Moon, now a columnist at Midweek Newspaper, saved her father's life.

Now I'm not going to kid myself into believing that I'm the straw that's stirring this MaiTai of goodwill and blessing.  I am simply blessed to be surrounded by those who embody the richness of life and share it abundantly.  It is the Spirit of Aloha, and it reaches into our hearts, souls, kidneys and bones.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

German Shepherd Stops Foils Potential Road Rage

Beverly in Pickup Truck

So I'm rolling along in my pickup truck on a hot Saturday afternoon on Labor Day Weekend.  I'd just cut the grass and I'm taking the clippings and other trash to the Wellesley, Massachusetts dump.  Beverly is in the backseat of the cab.  Along the way, the driver of an impossibly large Chevy Suburban made an illegal turn in front of me at an intersection.  I had the right of way, but it didn't matter to him.  If I didn't let him continue his bold and rude move there would have been a minor collision.

To let the man know he'd committed a violation, I gently tap-tapped on my horn and shrugged reasonably politely.  His passenger looked out the window, sarcastically shrugged back, and gave me the middle finger salute.  What great guys.  Turns out they were going to the dump too.

When I pulled alongside the offending aircraft carrier at the dump entrance, the driver looked over at me with the unmistakable arrogance of someone who thoroughly enjoyed being a jerk.  He was getting a rise out of it.  What he didn't know was something else was rising in the back of my cab.  I lowered the window and Beverly stuck her head out.  If you could have only seen the change of expression on both their faces.  They wanted no part of that.  Oh the joys of owning a German Shepherd.