The bone marrow drive at Open Door Presbyterian Church on Sunday was an amazing display of generosity by not only the ODPC congregation but the community at large. In addition to the incredible response of members of ODPC, there were a number of visitors and volunteers at the drive who had heard of Andrew’s cause via social media or the Internet and decided to come out to the drive to help or join the registry.
The amazing part about this drive was how invested ODPC was in the drive’s promotion and success. Often times at churches marrow drives can become something of an afterthought or minor bullet on the itinerary. But ODPC, with its over 700 weekly attendees, went above and beyond the call of duty (in a very short 3 week period) to do all that they could to run a successful drive.
Pastor Dihan and church leadership devoted service time during consecutive weeks for messages from Andrew’s aunt Pam, in addition to running a thorough web and print campaign to raise awareness. On drive day over 20 church members arrived early in the morning for training and stayed late into the afternoon to register donors. For a church with such a large scale and variety of programs, I’m almost positive that schedules and events are set months in advance. And yet, despite any potential inconvenience, ODPC was extremely accommodating. Pam, her family, Juliette Williams from the NMDP, the volunteers, and the ODPC leadership all deserve recognition for their hand in the drive’s success.
The final overall count for donors from Sunday came out to 254. It was by far the biggest drive I’ve ever been involved in, and I have no doubt in my mind that lives will be saved by someone who registered through this drive.
To anyone who joined the registry on Sunday that may be reading this post, I know that it was a difficult decision, and I know you may not know what to expect moving forward. But I promise you that if you do get called, and you do donate, no matter what temporary inconveniences you experience in the end you will never regret that decision. The opportunity to save a life is a gift and not a burden, and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.
Thank you for joining the lottery to save a life.
To keep updated with Andrew Park’s health, please remember to visit his father’s blog.