Monday, September 22, 2008

Light the Night

I went to Jacquie's wake and funeral. They were both very moving. Both times I had to wait in quite a long line to get in. A testament to how many people were touched by her life and her struggle with Leukemia. In my last post, I talked about how I had wanted to go give platelets. Well, I haven't yet because of time and I've been a bit sick. Now I'm not sure if I'm even going to go at all. I never used to be bothered by giving blood, but since I keep passing out (4 out of the 5 times I've given) I'm starting to develop a fear. Actually, right now even thinking about going to do it is starting to make me feel light headed. So, I've decided that if I can't bring myself to go give blood, I've got to do something else. I'm heading a team for the Light the Night for Leukemia and Lymphoma walk coming up in October. This means I'll be raising money and walking with a group of people in memory of Jacquie. If you'd like to join me in the walk or would like to donate some money, let me know and I'll send you the link. I know I won't be able to raise thousands of dollars like some big teams can, but I hope that my little contribution will help.
There are so many organizations I'd like to support, but being a poor college student (and soon, a poor teacher) there isn't much money for me to give. So I'm going to do my best with donating my time. One such organization is NPR. I listen to NPR almost every time I'm in my car. I subscribe to several of their podcasts as well, because I just can't get enough of their great shows like Cartalk, Wait, Wait.. Don't tell me!, Science Friday, Prairie Home Companion, This American Life and others. As a public radio station they depend on donations to keep their programming going. Everytime they have a funraising campagin I debate about giving to them. But in the end my money goes to my gas tank instead. So, this year I've started thinking about volunteering to be a phone operator for them. I contacted the person about this today, so we'll see if its a viable option. If I could go and answer phones for them for an hour or two, I'd feel better about not being able to contibute.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Goodbye Tink.

I was planning to update my blog this weekend about the small goings on of a new semester and my new home #3 at St. Mary's, but after the news I got tonight none of that seems important enough. Tonight, one of my Geneseo classmates, sorority and pledge sister, and friend has passed away. For more than a year now Jacquie, whose friends and family knew her as Tink (far right in the picture), has been battling a form of juvenile Leukemia called A.L.L. She had so much support, from family, friends, sisters and even strangers as far away as England. Her blog, which her parents kept running for her ( was constantly being filled with words of enouragement. Still she had to go through chemo and a transplant, not once, but twice. I just can't believe that such a beautiful young woman, with so much left to do is gone now. She was going to be a teacher, but got sick in the middle of her student teaching. Its comforting that she is no longer in pain, but still difficult to bear. I had been planning on going up to Roswell to donate platelets to her and was still working up the courage. I tend to pass out after giving blood, and the last time I was on the couch for a whole day afterwards. I'm bothered that I wasn't brave enough to go through that, when upstairs in Roswell she was fighting for her life. Now, I'm determined to go, if not for Jacquie, then in her memory, so that maybe someone else will have a chance to live. If you're in the area, I urge you to look into it too. There is also going to be a bone marrow drive on the 16th of this month at Roswell. Its a quick and painless cheek swab to get into the donor list, and then you will be contacted if you're a match. A little more in the future is the Ride for Roswell in June. I'll be there. Jacquie will be missed by many people, but her stuggle has taught us all a lot. She will not be forgotten.