I never make a “New Year’s Resolution” beyond a half-hearted commitment to eat less after an indulgent Christmas, because waiting a whole year to make a stand on anything is patently absurd. Nobody set any rules here and there are things happening every single day that could bring inspiration to change, if we only took a few moments to stop and listen and then take decisive action. It’s not about sitting still and hitting the “like” button but rather following through on that conversation late one evening to sign up for art class in my case, while a concert may give you the courage to pick up a guitar or violin. If food is your thing, then dreams are everywhere, from small screen to cinema screen, to become the King or Queen of the kitchen.
But inspiration isn’t always dramatic and if you make a resolution to change once a year, then how about making 2017 the year of doing the small everyday things that bring a smile or a glimpse of humanity to someone else. I promise, even baby steps will bring their own inspiration to stride further!
Throughout 2016 we have shared this thought, asking people to stop and think beyond themselves. At the same time, we have given them an opportunity to make a special kind of resolution – to be a hero which is not about a mercy dash into a burning building or diving into a river but it all starts with the courage and choice to wear someone else’s shoes, even for a few moments. When that person is a patient with just weeks to live unless they can have a transplant, it’s stark and frightening to imagine the impact of their diagnosis as families and friends learn to live without them.
I know that path and exactly 20 years ago, our eldest son, diagnosed with leukaemia, had no chance of survival without a transplant. The world stopped! For more than 3 months we waited in the hope that someone out there had resolved to do something special and signed up as a bone marrow donor to be that life-saving match for Daniel and that’s why every day it’s a privilege to play my part here at the BMDP so that I can make sure the next patient is just as lucky.
As we close 2017, I am humbled and thrilled that so many people heard our call and this Christmas we bring another 17,000 new bone marrow donors to the register – and that’s how many more chances to find a donor for every patient who needs a transplant. We didn’t achieve this on our own and huge thanks to our teachers and their students who took us into their communities; the HR and CSR teams in the corporate world and our Home Team for all stopping to listen and making the best resolution of all.
Please consider how you can help us next year – introduce us to your company or a group of friends; organise a fundraiser or a donor drive at the gym or in church and even better, come join the family and help us reach out to the public at our roadshows.
Bone Marrow Donors exemplify the very best of the human spirit – we are the kampong spirit -because it’s helping someone else is simply the right thing to do.