Sunday, May 28, 2017
This past Monday, I had the tremendous honor and pleasure of helping with the 22nd Annual Marrow Ambassadors Golf Tournament. This year, GenCure/Be The Match San Antonio, held the tournament in Rowan's memory, at The Quarry Golf Club. It was a blessing and an honor, and a day I will never forget. I know that Rowan was there with us in spirit...we all felt it, from the beginning to the end. A huge thank you to every golfer, sponsor, volunteer, and person who contributed or participated in any way. You helped "make the good" Monday... and that good will continue to help others for a long time.
As golfers began to register, it was evident that the event was a big success.
Jon Hudson from GenCure, spoke first. Thanking God for the rain holding off, wishing the golfers a great day and a great game of golf, and explaining the mission they were all there to help.
I told a little of Rowan's story after that, and explained his dream of adding one million potential donors to the registry, so no one else had to be without a match (like he was). Then, Logan, one of Rowan's best buds ever from the hospital, talked about how special Rowan was...and how Rowan was there with us all that day... and always.
There were 68 golfers registered in all, one of those being Rowan...who played in spirit as the fourth player on this special team...
Logan, Logan's Dad Gregg, and his friend Roland...
Thank you gentlemen, for taking turns, playing a shot each round on Rowan's behalf. Rowan would have been over the moon to be there physically with you, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he was there with you in spirit...and so very proud to be.
All along the course, there were Rowan reminders, inspiring the golfers as they played...
Thank you Jon, for following your heart and making this vision a reality. You ensured that Rowan's life and legacy were honored well.
I drove around the course all day, thanking the golfers for doing their part, for "making the good" for GenCure/ Be The Match. They were all so humble, kind and supportive. I was moved to tears on numerous occasions, as were many of them...
Chic-fil-a provided lunch, Bill Miller provided dinner, and there were many wonderful prizes, and silent auction items as well.
And it touched my heart, how Rowan's name and spirit were interwoven through every part of the day...
They didn't win, but Rowan played a really great game...:)
And the day just got better and better, even after the golf was done...
Jon, from GenCure, spoke about Rowan's legacy, and how it began.
...and then he shocked me, and probably a lot of other people in the room, with the best slide and biggest surprise ever...
10,000 and counting Rowan!
We are well on our way to that million you dreamed of. I promise to spend the rest of my days, increasing that number...working toward your life goal. It won't be met in your Earthly lifetime, but your legacy and mission lives on, Son.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I was able to witness the absolute coolest thing I have been able to witness in this journey with GenCure.
...a mother and her son, thanking the woman who was her son's life saving bone marrow donor over a year ago, and them meeting her in person for the first time ever, facilitated by the boy's transplant doctor (The Amazing Dr. Quigg). You can only imagine the tears that were falling in that room. So much love and mutual respect. A selfless act, of one young woman, saved the life of one precious young boy. There is no greater gift than the gift of life.
I was given the opportunity to thank the donor as well. To present her with flowers (orange of course:) and a photo of Rowan. To thank her for "making the good" in this world.
At the end of the presentation, I celebrated as Rowan would have...by adding more people to the registry. I told Rowan's story to the bar and wait staff, and was able to swab several of them, in his memory. A perfect ending, to a near perfect day.
Thank you ladies...and to the gentlemen who also registered that day. 5 minutes of your time swabbing and filling out paperwork, to see if you may be a potential donor for someone, puts you in the same category as Erika... you could save a life.
Rowan might still be here if there had been more people on the registry, and had one of them been a match...had he had an "Erika" himself.
Now, I can accept that as God's will, but I also know that God planted that seed in Rowan's heart...the desire to register more people, to save more lives...so this is my life's mission now too.
Thank you Rowan, GenCure, Be The Match, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, Methodist Children's Hospital, Dr. Quigg, Erika, Gabe, Jon Hudson, The Quarry, all the golfers, donors, volunteers and swabbers! 10,000 and counting...1 million here we come!
If you are between the ages of 18-44 and have yet to register as a potential donor on the national bone marrow registry, we are not done yet (we never will be).
Here are two "Make the Good" opportunities that we personally have coming up, where we will be swabbing for life for GenCure/Be The Match:
This Thursday night, June 1st, at The Well.
5539 UTSA Blvd, SA, TX 78249
from 7 pm to 11 pm.
This coming Saturday, June 3rd at COPA Wine Bar.
19141 Stone Oak Parkway, SA, TX 78258
from 11 am to 2 pm.
***Also hosting a $10 a plate BBQ plate sale at COPA June 3rd (benefiting GenCure), and $1 Rowan's famous ginger lemonade sale (benefiting The Rowan Windham Memorial Scholarship at Woodlawn Theatre)***