When was the last time you saved someone’s life? Most of us have never had that chance even though we all say we would if we could! Well, did you know that you CAN do something really simple to possibly save the life of someone, maybe a kid like me, who desperately needs your help?
My name is Pat, I’m 13 years old and I have Leukemia. Even though I do not need a marrow transplant there are 35,000 people, who are just like you and me, out there searching for a matching donor right now! A simple cheek swab can put you on the National Marrow Donor program registry to see if you are a match for someone! When I was diagnosed with Leukemia I learned how so many people are dying every day without a matching marrow donor. I decided to do something to help and created a national marrow donor drive called Driving for Donors! I traveled around the country with my family and added over 12,000 donors to the registry. I sold ads on my bald head to raise over $150,000 to pay the tissue typing fees to add all the donors and have helped find 5 matching marrow donors for people in need.
Even though I’m a kid, I know how it is to get so busy and wrapped up in all the things we do every day that it is easy to forgot to help someone else. But really, how hard is it to do something for ourselves, for another person or for the world in order to make a difference. It could be something simple we could do like stopping to pick up a piece of trash, smiling at someone or holding the door open for the person behind you, or taking the time to do a cheek swab or give blood that could save someone’s life. I decided I liked inspiring people and created an organization called The Planet Us to help inspire and encourage kids to make a difference in the world around them!
I want people to stop and think about how they live every day. Are you rushing around, annoyed at the little things, never enough time to get things done so you always seem grumpy? One thing I have learned in the past few years while undergoing chemotherapy is that life is short and can turn around in an instant when you least expect it. In the end, you won’t be remembered by how many hours you worked or the cool stuff you have. Instead, you’ll be remembered for the impact you make on the people and the world around you. Live every day like if it’s your last and take the time to make it count!