I wanted to say thank you to the parents who donated her cords for the 1st transplant, but they did so anonymously...no chance to ever find out who they are. This time however, Ann has an adult donor that the NMDP has the contact info for and now we can.
I have struggled with how to write a letter to her donor. I've drafted it and redrafted it time and again. But I still come back to the fundamental problem of how to say thank you to someone who has literally saved the life of the person you would willingly die for.
I wish I had the eloquence of Shakespeare or the wit of Wilde. But I don't, and lacking their considerable talents I offer this instead...
Dear Kind Stranger,
One year ago my wife was struggling for life, as leukemia destroyed her from the inside. I could only watch in despair as my best friend in the world and woman I loved gradually began to slip through my fingers. Because of my Wife’s cancer we needed a bone marrow transplant, but because of her race the chance of finding a donor was almost impossible. Our chances for a happy life together, to love each other, to one day raise a family, and to dream to do the small normal things that people do each day as a celebration of their love for each other were grim.
Then something remarkable happened…you decided to step forward and through great selflessness gave us another chance. I can only imagine that the choice you made to donate was born out of hope and optimism, and oh how I wish I could show you all the things that have flowed from your choice. To say you have changed our lives forever is nothing if not the most remarkable understatement.
Because of you I have enjoyed my Wife’s smile, her laughter, and a million small moments so precious that I would save them forever. Simply saying “Thank you” for what is the greatest act of selflessness I have ever seen seems too easy and far too small. I aspire to say something greater and more profound, something that carries the weight of everything I feel and care about. Something that celebrates your altruistic spirit and raises you aloft so you can be given the recognition such an exceptional person truly deserves. Without you our world would have come to an end.
I feel a great grief in closing this, and feel my words have been fragile in the face of your overwhelming kindness. I hope that it is enough to say that you have given us not only life but also hope. You are my hero.
I'm undecided as to whether or not this is good enough.