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.

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