Friday Feb 21, Bone Marrow and Stem Cell donor Education Day in Tucson

Dear All, It has been an amazing and productive day amidst a fair share of dead end leads. The key is to keep going, to thank those I meet even if they are not able to help meet my needs right now.
I will not give you the blow by blow details but after traveling from floor to floor, room to room, elevator to elevator, department to department I was not able to locate the person or department at Banner University Medical Center that could help me today. But I did get to talk to alot of folks about how to join our national marrow donor program, Be The Match. And my meandering lead me to come up with some new ideas for working with hospitals across the country which I am already working on with Be The Match. So all in all my visit to Banner University Medical Center was very satisfying.
After my work at Banner University Medical Center I went over to the University of Arizona, which is just a short walk from the medical center. There I was able to visit with so many students: students from the nursing Dept, students from sororities, pharmacy students, students on the walkways, students in the ASB office, students, students and more students. The folks at the University were very receptive. It was an amazing and rewarding afternoon.
After Stacie picked me up. I was exhausted. I felt like I had walked 14 miles carrying my heavy backpack! I apologized to Stacie and Doug and went to bed early so I would be ready to begin walking north in the morning.
In evaluating my experience in Tucson the only thing I would have done differently is I would have arranged more days to do my “bone marrow and stem cell donation education.” The changes in my schedule did not allow me enough time. 😦

Sat, Feb 15: Arizona City to Eloy

Dear All, I feel rested, energetic and ready to walk. Yesterday, I got a call from a member of the Casa Grande Daybreak Rotary Club, Ross Feezer. Ross said that he had received an email from the President of his club that talked about the Steps To-Marrow 3 project, it mentioned my needs and contact information in case any of the members would like to help me on my way. Ross offered me a place for the night and to pick me up from my route when I finished for the day. It is a blessing to know that I will have a safe place to sleep for the night. Thank you Ross and his wife, Becky, for that.
You all have heard of the 6 degrees of separation, that proposes that any two individuals on the planet are 6 or fewer acquaintances apart. So here is how Ross and I were connected.
I asked Gary Bowe a rotarian in my club, in Deer Park,WA if he knew any Rotarians from our district who travel down to Arizona for the winter. Gary connected me with Mike Payson a member of the Spokane Valley Rotary Club. Mike and his wife travel to Prescott,AZ each winter and attend the Prescott Frontier Rotary Club, Mike put me in touch with the District Governor for Rotary District 5500, Ellie Patterson. DG Ellie Patterson sent an email to all of the clubs in her District about Steps To-Marrow 3 and my needs for a safe journey through the Sonoran Desert. The president of the Casa Grande Daybreak Rotary Club, Sheila Chavez passed on the email from Ellie to all of her club members and Ross responded.
Ross later told me that he likes to help others when he can. He has projects in Ecuador that he has been actively involved in for over 30 years both individually and through Rotary. He served in Ecuador when he was in the Peace Corps and helping the Ecuadorian people is a mission close to his heart. Then he said, “I can’t do everything but when I see something that needs to be done or someone who needs help in my daily life. I like to do what I can.”
I think this is a pretty common feeling for the average Rotarian. Yes, we do projects together and we raise money for folks in need but in addition to that Rotarians respond to the needs of others as they arise. And I love how Ross framed it. “I can’t do everything but I like to do what I can.”
This giving nature, this desire to help others as we meet the need is part of Ross’s Rotary Story.
This giving nature is part of my Jada’s donor’s story too. He gave his cells to a stranger and saved my precious granddaughter’s life
Take a look inside today if this a need that you can meet. If so text LIFE to 61474 and find out if you are someone’s perfect match!