indoors + a friend in need

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!


  1. Love the carousel and what a perfect table for it (great photo op even though I know it was a totally candid whoo hoo thing).

    Praying for Jake...in a perfect world, children should never get serious illness, ever.

    1. I know, the blogger in me was like "you didn't just make that perfect circle of animals and call it a carousel, did you?". :) Too bad I still am not too great at using my camera! Thank you for the thoughts for Jake. His family has risen to the occasion in a way that I cannot even fathom, and hope I never have to. xo

  2. Praying for Jake x2. I have a couple of friends in Boston, but they're traveling right now. I'll see them here and tell them about Jake. Who knows right?

  3. Just signed up for my kit...

  4. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry to hear about Jake. You may have seen some of my past posts about how I am a certified volunteer advocate for Be The Match? I also maintain a website called http://MarrowDrives.org which is a tutorial resource about different ways patients and their families can raise awareness about their need to locate a matching bone marrow donor. I will definitely do a blog post about Jake and hope and pray a match is found for him soon. My own cousin just celebrated the third anniversary of receiving her transplant on June 30th, 2009.

  5. I have been thinking of you through this, Stacie. Anything you can do would be so appreciated. Jake will almost definitely need a transplant by September and there are drives going on around the country now. I pray a donor is found. Jake and his family were featured on Good Morning America a few weeks ago, I hope that boosted things. I'm happy for your friend's success!


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