I am so thankful that my little brother Corey had matching bone marrow. When I was so sick a few years back with leukemia, doctors didn't hold out much in the way of hope. It was an extremely scary time for our family.
I remember lying there in the hospital during the long, drawn out chemotherapy treatments, wondering what would happen to Corey if I died. He and I were incredibly close; I couldn't imagine him living his life without me.
The doctors started looking for a donor for matching bone marrow and blood types that would be compatible to me. Weeks went by without any results. I was getting sicker and sicker; time was starting to run out.
My family asked if they could be donors; the doctors ran tests on us, to see if their bone marrow matched mine. They had to match exactly or a mismatch could prove potentially fatal.
It was that serious.
It turned out that Corey's bone marrow matched! He was the perfect candidate. At the news, I cried with relief, but I also cried because my little brother would have to have some painful procedures that would, in turn, help me to get better. Mom and dad prayed with them (and with me); they said that they would be there for the both of us, no matter what happened.
After a brief stay in the hospital, Corey went home and soon was back to his normal self. Hopefully he'd forget what'd happened, but he knew in his young mind that what he did was going to help Chrissy (me), his big sister, get well.
That was all he cared about; he prayed to God every day for me. He had such a strong faith in God that was amazing to see, and it gave me lots of strength and hope for my future.
Because of him, I would have a chance to beat this thing. I would have a chance at life.
After the infusion, I was in isolation. Was very sick for a while there, but slowly, I started getting better. My blood and marrow tests improved. I started getting stronger. It was a very long drawn-out process.
I am now in remission.
I haven't had to go to the hospital, except for blood tests, in months. I am starting to enjoy life again. My hair is starting to come back in. Before, it was blonde and long. It's coming in black and kinky. That's taking getting used to.
I look healthier now than I have in months. My appetite has returned with a vengeance. Before, even the thought of food made me nauseous. Now, I can't get enough!
With Christmas coming up, life is indeed worth celebrating. This year will be probably be the merriest one ever for our family, but especially for Correy and myself. Not so much me, but for my hero, my little brother.
I'll make sure of it.
I look to Corey as my lifesaver. If it were not for the matching bone marrow, I wouldn't be here. Thanks to my family, particularly Correy, and of course, God, I have a future.
I thank God every day for that.