Friday, April 22, 2005

Never doubt that one person can change the world

... or make a difference in it.

Once upon a time I saved a baby's life. I was in the right place, at the right time and just happened to notice (with a stroke of providence I'm sure) a baby crouching between two parked cars as we drove by. It was minus 25 without the windchill, and in a blur of frenzied reaction I yelled for my friend to stop and had already jumped out before I realized the car had stopped, my jacket off to wrap around his tiny, impossibly cold, body. He was dressed only in his diaper, PJ top and winter boots. I brought him back into the car, where I held him, heat full on, and waited for the adult we expected to be out desperately searching, to come along.

After a while, when no adult appeared, we phoned the police, who came and got the little tyke (who had finally become warm enough to start crying). They told us if we hadn't had stopped when we did it would have been too late for him, but they didn't have to tell us that. We already knew.

It's a feeling I can't begin to describe, full of love, opportunity, compassion and satisfaction. It's a feeling I have been thinking about since I got a mystery call from the Unrelated Bone and Marrow Transplant Office yesterday. I have been part of the program for years, but they tell you it's rare to get a call (it's hard to match unrelated donors with patients). They are going to call me back today at work, and its hard to put it out of my mind.

An old Hebrew saying says that by saving one life, you save the world. I'm not sure about the world, but one life is good enough.

Two is better.

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