I lost my best friend to a long and hard battle with leukemia when I was a child, so when I learned my college campus was having a bone marrow drive, I was the first in line to register. I was eager to potentially give another person the chance that my best friend was unable to have.
I thought about all of the milestones she would not be able to experience, and the idea of giving those moments back to someone was so powerful.
Although the paperwork and cheek swab took no more than five minutes, it felt like such a significant and important moment.
When I received the phone call about a year later that I was a match, I was beyond excited. I could only imagine the joy that this person and their family must be feeling. I felt an immediate connection to this complete stranger and was honored to be able to help give someone a second chance at life.
Although I was never hesitant to donate, as a full time college student I was nervous about missing classes and falling behind. But the process was so simple and everyone was so accommodating to my schedule that I didn't have to miss a single day of school! On the day of the donation everyone I interacted with was so excited and there was a huge positive energy flowing throughout the room. It really felt like I was making a difference. The process was painless and I was back to my normal daily routine right away.
I was overcome with emotion six months later when I learned my recipient was in remission. To know that taking one day out of my life to donate added countless days to his, really put the entire process into perspective. If ever asked to donate again, I would in a heartbeat.
Being part of the registry and donating has made a huge impact on my life. I am honored to help register more donors through local Philadelphia drives. Helping people sign up to save a life is very rewarding and I love sharing my story as well as the stories of other donors and recipients. I am excited to be starting medical school this fall and I plan to work in oncology after graduation so that I can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.