Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bone Marrow Transplant, child hood cancer,

A few days ago I wrote back to back blog entries that were entitled # 'Stolen Story? What if I am a Poacher!', and # 'Poachers Anonymous'. I comically addressed a matter that troubled me. Within one chapter of a manuscript for a children's novel which I have written there is a story of a brother's generous gift of love to his desperately ill sister. On one occasion he gave his blood via transfusion, and on another his bone marrow in a transplant. I wrote the manuscript twelve years ago and then shelved it after eighteen publishers sent me rejection slips. Unsolicited work isn't welcomed warmly by fully committed publishers. It's a good story and I will immodestly tell you that it is written well, because it is. Within the past year I have been encouraged to dust it off and publish it. I believe I will. If the one tiny story that develops the character of the brother was truly something that was less a product of my creativity and more a poaching of a legend that has been championed for decades, I wouldn't be proud of that. I came up empty when with a sincere effort I tried to recall why I had included the reference to the blood transfusion.

Then today, a news article spoke of a young woman who had cancer when she was seven years old and now she is 28 and who involved as a researcher in cancer cure initiatives. I recognized her name and her family's pain when back in 1987 the battle first began. The Bartley family belonged to the church that I pastored. And suddenly I realized with comfort that Naomi Bartley and her nine year old brother Nathan were the stimuli for my story. He was a perfect match as a donor for marrow for his sister. It was a true and touching story that had guided my writing. It was not an invented story of legendary proportion concocted to jerk tears.

Now I want you to become familiar the valiant efforts of this twenty-year survivor as she raises funds through Naomi's Hope Chest. CBC has produced a two part documentary called 'The Cost of Survival.' It chronicles Naomi's Hope for a Cure which is committed to raising funds to support research for new and less harmful childhood cancer therapies. As a girl she collected little hope chests. Now she has received the help of artists like Robert Bateman to paint collector chests for a fundraising auction. You can watch the CBC pieces on this page.

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