Friday, January 30, 2015

Who Knows? The Save-a-Life Lottery

Congratulations! You've won the jackpot for your Friday night dinner table. Please print and share.
Dedicated this week in memory of R. Meir.

human-embryonic-stem-cell-lineA question for your table, followed by a story, followed by a question.

The first question: In your opinion, what percentage of the news that you read or hear is good news?

It seems to me that it's a very low percentage.

Sometimes I fantasize about starting a news service called GNN - The Good News Network.

What do you think? Would the world beat a path to my door?

Short of that, I have this humble blog, tirelessly delivering you the good(s) every week. (I admit that last week wasn't such good news, but I hope you appreciated the effort.)

So to make up for that, this week is a truly uplifting story.

It starts with a man named Jiang Yonfeng.

Jiang is Chinese, living in Shanghai. He's 36.

He works as a driver for some unnamed company.

At his office one day someone from the Red Cross is signing people up for an international stem cell registry program.

Who knows? Maybe they'll find a match and you could save someone's life?

Not likely. The odds of ever finding a match are longer than winning the lottery.
Donor and recipient must have nearly the exact same genes.

But it doesn't cost anything. Just give them a bit of your saliva.

So Jiang joins the program in March, 2013.

Hey, who knows?

Can you picture yourself in his shoes?

How long would you remember registering? A few days?

Pretty soon you'd forget all about it.

But in November, 2014 Jiang receives a phone call. He's a match for a leukemia patient in the UK.

A seven-year-old boy.


According to the rules of the game, he and the boy will never meet nor even know each other's names.

How do you think that makes him feel?

Oh, by the way, in order to make the actual donation, Jiang has to fly to Beijing, spend five days in the General Hospital of the Airforce of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, receiving daily injections to activate his stem cells, then be hooked up to a transfusion machine for three hours. British doctors on hand will then rush the stem cells back to the UK.

JiangAll this for someone he never met and would never meet.

Jiang says he feels great: "I just want the procedure to be done as soon as possible so they can send my cells back to the UK and help the little kid recover as soon as possible. I hope he can be brave and strong and he can live a good life."

Question for your table: How would that make you feel?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - You too can play the save-a-life "lottery": register your stem cells here or your bone marrow here. Learn more here. Or increase your odds of winning to nearly 100 percent by donating your extra kidney.

PPS - As far as I know, my "letter to the French People" (and here in English) has not yet gone viral in France. Please help it spread by sending the link to everyone you know who knows someone French, or in France, or who took French in high school.

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