Thursday, June 2, 2016
"God, Can I be someone's donor someday?"
This post is going to be hard to put into words...even for me. The outpouring of love and support that we received from the community during Tuesday's "Marrow Me?" Donor Drive at Keller Williams, was overwhelming to say the least. My personal hope was that we would have 50-100 people come get swabbed, but Rowan woke up saying: "I think we will have 230 people." The final total of people who came physically that day to our event ended up being 172! However, we have had dozens of people tell us they ordered their kit online or by phone because they couldn't make it to the event, KENS 5 said people started calling them as soon as the news piece aired asking how they could help, and a representative from Be The Match Registry said they fielded calls from Houston, Dallas and Austin all day too! So I have no doubt that Rowan's goal of 230 was completely blown away! Be The Match even assigned Rowan his own link and promo code so people can continue to register in his name.
The link is:
The promo code is:
And as Rowan said, "Even if they don't find my match, I hope they will find someone else's." That is his real, honest, dream too...to help others. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to, but as he fell asleep Tuesday night, this is what he asked me: "Mom, I'm curious about something. When I get my transplant and my bone marrow is healthy, then can I be someone's bone marrow donor...because I would really love that. I'm gonna ask God if I can." And here he is, doing just that, asking, "God can I be someone's donor someday?"
This boy. He doesn't even have his own match yet, but he is inspiring hundreds of people to register in the hopes of finding matches for others, and even dreams of being able to be someone else's match himself one day.
And now, the wonderful pictures from the life-changing event Tuesday...
Margie from Keller Williams and Jason from Marrow Me had everything set up when we arrived at 10:00 am...
Rowan was super tired and fell asleep right away...
People started flowing in immediately, filling the chairs, overflowing into the lobby...it was amazing!
The whole process only took 10 minutes, including paperwork and swabbing. And Jason and Margie made it fun for everyone!
People came from all over...
Hondo (2 hours away):
South Carolina (Or North Carolina...I can't remember which, but definitely our farthest visitor:)...
We had people 71 years young come try to get swabbed. She did not meet the age requirement, but we thanked her for wanting to help...
Whole families came in. Big ones! We were so blessed that 3 of these 8 were able to swab. We love you Monteverdi Family...
Old friends, new friends, and complete strangers came to join the registry...
Poor Rowan slept through most of it, not waking up until nearly 2:00 in the afternoon, but we took lots of pictures so he could see how many people he inspired to register.
Here is our 100th customer! She was so adorable. She was out in the lobby filling out her paperwork, and when she heard Jason say that the next person swabbed would be #100, she hurried up and signed her form and ran in to get swabbed before the other two people who were about to. It was such a great milestone moment! And Rowan thought it would be pretty cool if she ends up being his match, especially since she was a ginger too:)
This next picture breaks and blesses my heart at the same time. Justin Easterling's Mom came and got swabbed for Rowan too. Her beautiful son just passed away earlier in May, before he was able to get well enough to receive his own bone marrow transplant. Her grace, strength and courage just melted my heart. All my love, prayers and appreciation Keiba. Thank you for your selfless act.
We got great news coverage for the event as well, from Kens 5 and News 4...
Near the end of the event, a very special visitor showed up to see Rowan and support the cause...
Thank you Batman!
On top of all the people who registered to be bone marrow donors Tuesday, Rowan had his other mission, collecting cereal for the Million Meals Campaign and Methodist Hospital's Summer Cereal Drive. That was a roaring success as well. Thank you to everyone who brought boxes of cereal with you...or wagons of cereal with you!
As you can see, we collected quite a bit!
All in all, the entire day was an outrageous success! We could just feel it...matches are going to be made...whether it's Rowan or someone else in need. And these three made such a great team, they are planning some more Marrow Me events very soon...details to come:)
Huge thank yous to:
Jason with Marrow Me
Margie with Keller Williams
Bruce & Maggie from KW (for being our escorts for the day:)
The entire Keller Williams Cityview Office
The Cityview Building Manager
Jon from GenCur & Be The Match
Sharon Ko from Kens 5
Andrew Lofholm from News 4
Every single person who came out to get swabbed and/or bring cereal
& every single person who ordered their kit online or on the phone
I will close with this...
Rowan was also supposed to come speak to the Keller Williams Cityview team at their team meeting on the day of the event, in the conference room downstairs. Their theme this month was, "Thinking Big". Rowan unfortunately slept through the meeting, but luckily I had asked him the night before what he thought he wanted to say to them about that topic, "Thinking Big". He wrote the following note for me, and I made copies for the KW team. I shared his note with them during the meeting, and spoke on his behalf. I don't think it could've been a more perfect sentiment, especially given what was going on all day there at the Marrow Me event.
Even if only one match is made, then this is no doubt already BIG!
If you haven't registered already yourself, and you are between the ages of 18 and 44, or if you know someone who is, please use this link and promo code, and get added to the national registry.