It was a foggy day in Baltimore and it was my birthday.
We were at the hospital waiting. My nurse came in once in a while to update us. Kepi, Mom and Dad were there. The cells are coming in by plane and it should be around 2:30 PM (ET). My nurse was a bit worried because it's too foggy and he was concerned if planes can even land through the thick fog.
I was worried.
But by 2:30 PM, the courier, a woman with disheveled hair, arrived. She said that she had to rush the cells as soon as it arrived. I was grateful and I told her, "Thank you."
The bag was huge, bulky and heavy. As you can see (photo below), my nurse had to reinforce the way it was hung because it might fall. The bag was pumped from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM. It was a long day. It was a long life-saving day.
Before Day 0 or Transplant Day or my transplant birthday, I was nervous (scared) that my donor might back out. But my faith in man was restored and that there are some people out there who are unselfish and dedicated to save their fellow men.
To my donor, I can't possibly describe how grateful I am. My feelings were indescribable that I was in tears when your cells were pumped into my system. I know there are other obstacles I have to go through such as engraftment, infections and graft-vs-host disease, but with your gift of life, I know I can make it through anything. You have given me a feeling of hope and courage. Again, thank you. My family thanks you.
I hope that what you did would encourage would be donors especially in the minority communities.
I hope we can meet soon. If the slipped rumors are true at the hospital, it would be lovely to meet you in the islands of Aloha, my home state. It might have been fate that I am forever bound with these beautiful islands. If the rumors are true, then I have a second Ohana (family) in Hawaii.
Mahalo nui loa. (Thank you very much.)
Ke Akua pu a hui hou. (God bless you and see you later.)