Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blessed We Are


Three years ago our family received news that no one wants to hear, a loved one had cancer. It was Leukemia. It was my Mother in law. She had been sick with something for over a year. One thing after the other but no one knew what and now finally there was an answer.

She was a survivor. She beat breast cancer more than 20 years before. She started treatments immediately. Six months later she received a Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Transfer, from a complete stranger thousands of miles away. She was born again that day. Now two and a half years later (3 since diagnosis) she is well. Of course it's been a bumpy road but she is here and she is well. We are lucky.

This week, Dana Farber Cancer Institute gave her another gift. They gave her the name and email address of her donor. Of course she Googled him and found an article about him written in German but it also contained his picture. Not only did she have a name, now she had a face. My sister in law used Google translator and the article was actually about Stem Cell donation. They email him and he responded. He was happy to help her. He was only 25 at the time. As I read the email from my father in law with their email exchange included (I was in my carpool on the way home), I was crying as I read their words to each other (I am a huge sap, this situation even more so).

I knew I had to write about this. I knew I had to share. This young man saved my mother in law, saved our family all out of the goodness of his heart. He even sent a picture of him and his girlfriend (I am showing you the picture from the news article.
Je mehr Spender, desto größer die Chance
The 2nd guy on the right side with the black sweater is her donor, Patrick

This year in Religious school Sam had to do a values project.  His value word was Humility.  He did part of his project about this wonderful person (without his name since we did not have it) and the other part on his sister and her donating her hair to Locks of Love.  Oddly enough the presentation of the values project did not happen on the date scheduled and was rescheduled to a later date (next month).  When I showed Sam the picture of Patrick he said he can do a little update in his project and show the picture of him.  I am really proud of my children for being good people and thinking of helping others they do not know and may never know.  We  have always taught them to help people who are less fortunate than themselves (human or not) and think of others in need.  Maybe they will do something so selfless like Patrick did for my mother in law, in any case I know their hearts are starting in the right place.



  1. What a beautiful story Zizette. It's nice to know your children learned from it also. You did a great job with them!

  2. You are such a great Mom and it shows through your 2 wonderful kids. xo

  3. What an amazing story, Zizette! Your kids certainly are learning from great examples and that is so wonderful to see. There is nothing better in life than giving of yourself to others in need and this selfless act that Patrick did for your mother in law is a prime example.

    My girlfriends husband also had the stem cell and although he didn't have the wonderful results that your mom in law has had, he had some extra time with his family that he wouldn't have had.

    Much love to you and your family - enjoy each other! xxoo :)

  4. Oh wow, this is such an amazing story Zi, how fantastic to be able to find out more about Patrick and to see his face....just wonderful xx