We’ve never met, but in a little more than a week, we will be intimately involved. Tomorrow, I will be admitted to the hospital where my stem cells and immune system will be completely destroyed before your stem cells will get to work on the repair job. It’s hefty work, to be sure, but this is what you signed up for.

My question is WHY?

What made you decide to add your name to the National Bone Marrow Registry to Be The Match for a complete stranger? Me.What kind of person does that? You. Willing to sacrifice a part of yourself so I have a better chance to live.

Maybe you’re one of those people who just wants to do good in the world. Or did you register because someone you loved needed a transplant and you desperately wanted to help?

John 5:13 teaches us – “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I know this is different, but I do see parallels between your actions and what Jesus did. I didn’t know Him when He died for me, and I can never repay Him.Likewise, I won’t be able to repay you either.

But I’d like to try to convey how eternally grateful I am for the decision to swab your cheek and add your name on the donor list.  And when you got the very real call informing you that someone needed your stem cells, you said “YES” again. You could’ve backed away;  you were under no obligation to go through with it…but you did.


Thank you because I want to KEEP living.  I have a family that loves me; a husband I want to grow old with; and children I want to see grow into adulthood and beyond.

Thank you because depending on the source, only 67%-76% of African Americans find a match through the National Registry. Even within my own family, my half-sister was not a match, and my full-sister was only a half match. You, dear donor, are a full match…a 10/10. Regardless of your faith, gender, sexual orientation, race, education or income level, you are more like me than anyone else in my family.

I may never know WHY you did it, but I know a few things. I know that you are a selfless person. I know that despite the inconvenience and minor discomfort, you refused to walk away. I know that people love you because you love back.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

Thank you for living out the Word of God and for sacrificing a part of yourself to help me.

Humbled and forever thankful,