Letters 2-19-14


Register as a bone marrow donor and save a life

Eight years ago, my daughter, Sabrina Atkinson Cole, faced the biggest battle of her life. She was told she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was scared and so were her parents for her. During her treatments Sabrina developed acute myeloid leukemia (blood cancer) and the doctor told her she needed a bone marrow transplant right away. Her doctor went on to say “It will not be easy to find a bone marrow donor to match her because of her mixed race.”

Her siblings were tested first to see if they matched her human leukocyte antigen tissue type or markers found on most body cells and none of them matched. Sabrina’s time was running out. We held a bone marrow drive at Walmart in Kailua-Kona and were amazed at the turn out and the support from the community. Each person who registered to be a bone marrow donor got tested by swabbing the inside of their cheek.

In a couple of months, there was a perfect match found for Sabrina in the Bone Marrow Registry. Sabrina was weak but ready. Her transplant went well thanks to complete stranger who took the time to donate bone marrow to save a life of another human being they do not even know. Today we still do not know the person who helped our daughter but whoever he or she is thank you.

Please register at bethematch.org to be tested by a simple swab of the cheek and who knows it could be you who saves a life thank you.

Robert Atkinson Sr.

Kailua-Kona

Angels on Wheels deserves a big mahalo

A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with high-grade, stage four terminal cancer. Unless you have lived through this yourself, you cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to hear something like this.

I soon lost the ability to drive. The burden of getting back and forth to appointments became almost overwhelming until we were put in touch with a group called Angels on Wheels. They have truly been a godsend by providing rides whenever I need to go completely free of charge and with a big smile on their faces.

I really don’t know what I would have done without them. The Angels on Wheels truly are angels, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

Andy Eaton

Waikoloa