Saint Patrick’s Day is sometimes bitter sweet for me. It was the day my son Brandon was born in 1999 which was one of the sweetest moments in my life. However, Brandon is no longer with us. After battling Myelodysplastic Syndrome for 2 1/2 years God called him home 10 years ago at the age of 4 1/2 which makes this day sad at times because I can no longer celebrate….so I thought.
Well this year I decided to celebrate Saint Patty’s Day by honoring Brandon, as well as, bringing more awareness to his disease. Brandon was a fun-loving, energetic kid who made everyone who came in contact with him laugh. He was truly my little angel.
Myelodysplastic Syndrome is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells and there are abnormal (blast) cells in the blood and/or bone marrow. When Brandon was diagnosed, I was informed this was a very rare disease typically found in older people and was even rarer when a child was diagnosed.
Brandon’s only chance was to have a Bone Marrow Transplant. It was a battle finding a match for Brandon because he was a minority and the amount of minority donors on the registry at that time was very low. The amount of donors has increased since then, however, their is still a need for donors, especially minorities.
There are many people battling diseases that need bone marrow transplants. Please consider being a donor, you may potentially save a life. Please visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or The National Marrow Donor Program for more information. These are two organizations I worked closely with during Brandon’s illness.
Thanks for helping me honor Brandon!