Aaaaand, it begins. The beautiful warm weather we have been enjoying in spurts over the last few weeks blew away last night. Perfectly timed with the first day of summer. Now we're spending our time indoors, wearing fisherman's sweaters and flannel pants, and battling nasty head colds. OF COURSE. Stella's extra sick right now, poor thing. Thank goodness she loves to read for hours on end. Good for her, and for me.
Oliver, however, is feeling great, and during our hours and hours of down time yesterday he made this "carousel" (and many, many other messes). I love his carousel.
We have a friend who doesn't have a choice about staying indoors or playing outside right now. His name is Jake. He is a wonderful kid whose sister was in class with Stella this year. This past February he was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, which has changed the lives of everyone close to Jake. I can't begin to describe what Jake and his family are going through, but they are fighting tooth and nail for Jake's health. You can go to this website HERE to read about Jake and his condition.
This is Jake.
Where things are at now is that Jake needs a bone marrow donor. There are a few things that all of us can do to help, and if anyone reading this does help, I would be so grateful.
First, you can sign up for the National Bone Marrow Donor registry by clicking HERE and ordering a cheek swab kit. It is free. They will send you the kit, you just swab your cheeks and send it right back. Easy. Jake's heritage is strongly Irish, so if you are of Irish heritage it is more likely you might be the match, but EVERYONE who meets the age and health requirements is urged to register. If you are not eligible to register, or even if you are, there is a place on that web page where you can donate funds to help pay for the costs of registering each individual that sends in a kit.
Second, you can share the information about Jake with your friends via your own blog, your Facebook page, or however you see fit. You can use the link I shared above for matchjake.org, and also please "like" the matchjake.org Facebook page (click HERE).
Third, you can help the Be The Match Foundation (HERE is Jake's page) by actively participating in one of their drives. Last Saturday Stella and I worked at a drive, registering applicants and swabbing cheeks for two hours. It was hard roping people in on a hot summer afternoon, but it was good work and there are some great people on Jake's team. I hope we found the match that day.
There are some drives coming up on the east coast, and I know they are looking for people to help. They are specifically looking for people to help set up a drive site in Boston (imagine how many Irish cheeks there are there). If you think you know a way to help, please contact the team through the Facebook page, or even here. I can pass along your information to Jake's parents.
Thank you, and I hope you have a warm, summery weekend!