11 December 2007


I'm used to the once-a-week, in-the-evening calls from the American Red Cross to the blood donor in my house, beginning approximately fifty-six days after the last donation, so I was surprised by the call at ten o'clock on Sunday morning. But blood supplies, always tight, are exceptionally so at holiday time.

It's personal with me. My niece, Jade, was diagnosed four-and-a-half years ago, at age eight, with exceedingly rare and often fatal aplastic anemia. Last week she celebrated her thirteenth birthday. She is alive and thriving for three reasons: a miracle, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and donated blood. Her recovery was so amazing that she and her parents are ambassadors for the American Red Cross.

If searching for the antidote to what you may consider the over-commercialization of an essentially religious occasion, please consider giving the thing you hope you never have to receive. My family and I, and ultimately, someone you will never know, thank you for your generosity.

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