60 Years: A Special Milestone
June 7 marks my 60th birthday and as a member of the "boomer" generation, I am in company of 86 million baby-boomers in the USA. Every day, 12,000 of us turn 50 and 9,000 turn 60. The oldest in our generation will turn 62 this year.
But my thoughts about reaching this milestone in 2008 are shaped by these realities:
1) I am the first male in several generations for this FOXWORTH family to reach that sixth decade.
2) Without my stem cell transplant last August to cure mantle cell lymphoma, this missive could not be written.
And like the picture (inset) of a refurbished 1948 Ford Coupe, my SCT has given me more than a new lease on life - it has given me a new life. According to my doctors, my blood type, DNA, and, of course, my total immune system has changed to that of my 23-year old donor. And now, I have two birthdays per year: June 7 and August 22. And believe it or not: I rushed into this world 60 years ago, born almost 10 weeks premature. The August date of my transplant seems to correct my precocious ways.
And that reality prompts me to ask everyone and every audience who will listen: Why not consider becoming a stem cell or bone marrow donor?
The process is simple:
If you live in or near Southern California, call The City of Hope to get information: 626-256-HOPE (4673). You can go online at http://www.cityofhope.org/
Elsewhere, call the National Marrow Donor Program (612) 627-5842 or online: http://www.marrow.org/
And because I was told that my SCT donor was overseas, there is consideration to this opportunity afforded around the world. Those individuals need only to ask their physician or contact a local hospital or university medical center.
At City of Hope last April, Dee Dee and our children joined a throng of more than 3,000 people, including the survivors of the BMT program that has become one of the world's leading providers of this life-giving procedure. That gathering affirmed my mission for the rest of my life: Be a missionary for organ and cell donations because this act can save a live!
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