Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Having Some Fun

3 John 1:2
"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."

We decided to have some fun on the night before the transplant.

Tomorrow morning, somewhere in our beautiful country, an amazing 50-year-old man will head to his local hospital and start to have his blood drawn. Over the past week, he has been taking medicine to help him produce extra bone-marrow cells, and as his blood is drawn, those extra cells will be filtered out and stored. At the end of the four-hour process, he will be released and life will resume as normal.

That evening, in the University of Kansas Medical Center, those cells will begin to drip into an equally amazing 52-year-old woman, and her life will be changed forever. Thanks to "Mike," Tammy once again will begin the long road to recovery. That much we do know.

What we don't know is where "Mike" is from. (For those of you who just started reading this blog, we're calling the donor Mike because Tammy has two brothers--Mike and Jim--and Jim was the name of her first donor. Therefore it only makes sense that this donor is named Mike.)

We know that the courier will pick up the cells at the hospital where Mike will have the blood drawn, and then will take a one-stop flight to Kansas City. That courier will be met at KCI and the cells will be brought to the hospital. But why can't it be a non-stop? Is there no airport close by that has non-stops to Kansas City? Is it too far away? Is it too small of a community? Your guess is as good as ours.

That's where the fun starts. We are going to have a pool to guess the hometown of Mike. The person with the closest guess wins the grand prize (www.travelmath.com will be the judge). We won't know for at least one year, as that's the minimum amount of time before a bone-marrow registry will release the recipient's information to the donor. We didn't learn Jim's identity until almost three years after Tammy's first transplant.

We've thought about what we could use as a grand prize. Someone suggested that we could get someone to donate a gift card, but that didn't seem like enough. It has to be something "not available in stores," and has to be something of great value. We tossed a lot of ideas around, and then finally it came to us.

The person who guesses the closest community to Mike's hometown gets (drum roll please) a hug from Tammy. As someone who has "won" this prize on numerous occasions--many times undeserved--I can tell you that there is no better prize. Tammy is the best hugger around.

So put your thinking cap on, or just pull an idea out of thin air. Send your guesses to me at DavidDSmale@gmail.com. I'll keep a file and then when we find out the answer, we'll let you know who won. No matter where you are, we'll figure out a way to deliver your prize.

Besides announcing the contest, I want to give you a quick update. We received news today that the transplant that was originally scheduled for 9:30 p.m. has been moved up to 6 p.m. We don't know why there was a change, but we are thankful that it will happen sooner. Of course we'll let you know how it goes. The blog will be the best source of information on her condition.

Please pray for the whole process tomorrow. We covet every prayer that can be lifted up.

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