The very first time I heard about AADP was at a festival, where AADP had a booth. I was offered a flyer, which I had looked at and then folded into four, filing it away in the bottom of my pocket, only closely looking at the faces on it and the words printed on it when I got home. To this day, that flyer is still carefully taped on my bedroom wall.
Volunteering at AADP has changed me as a person. I never realized how many people out there desperately needed donors. I didn’t know the reality of the donation process nor the terrible and false stigma associated to marrow donation. Most of all, I didn’t realize the mass amounts of people who were unwilling to spend their time to even fill out an application. I never saw the hard work staff members and volunteers put in every day in an effort to possibly find that one life-saving match in the crowd. Volunteering at drives, I never realized how many people ignore the outstretched flyers, the donor forms, the opportunities to save a child, parent, brother or sister, friend. Through volunteering, I have grown more compassionate and more knowledgeable.
I believe that if everyone in the world registered, so many lives would still walk among us, laugh among us, and live among us. We are far, far off from that vision, but one day, I believe that it may be in sight. Patients today are still waiting, hoping for a donor to come and allow them to fulfill their dreams of walking out of that hospital, being able to actually walk out and breathe in the air without the fear of getting sick, and continue on with pursuing their dreams.
I volunteer in the hopes that one day, patients will be able to pick up where their lives had left off and reach the goals they had once set aside.