Be A Hero. Save A Life.
We all want to find it. That perfect gift for that special person. The one we know is just going to light up their face when they open it. What if you could give someone the greatest gift they have received? What if you could give someone the gift of LIFE this year?
Five years ago, when Brian Dickens signed up to be a bone marrow donor, he had no idea that he would have the opportunity to save someone’s life. Brian’s family began participating in the Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk event in 2009 shortly after they lost his brother-in-law, Rick Climer, to colon cancer. “I had never really participated in anything like this before,” said Dickens, “but, it was just very important to us to help other families who were going through what we had been through.”
Each year, Brian and his family lead Team Climer at Sherry’s Run. At the 2010 Sherry’s Run event, there was a special drive to enlist potential bone marrow donors, so Brian and his wife, Betty, signed up. He didn’t think much more about it until May of 2011 when he was notified by mail that he had matched up with a young lady who needed a transplant. “The patient was a 22 year old girl…close to the same age as my own children,” said Dickens. “I had watched my in-laws bury their daughter because of cancer and I just kept thinking to myself, these parents shouldn’t have to bury their child.”
After a series of communications and some further blood testing, the Dickens traveled to Washington D.C. for the procedure in July of 2011. For several months following the procedure, Brian received updates on the recipient’s health and progress. When the updates ended about a year later, she was still very sick. “I just kept thinking about her and wanted to know if she made it,” said Dickens. In December of 2013, he began trying to contact her. When they finally reached her, he learned that her name was Charlotte and that she was engaged to be married.
Charlotte invited Brian and Betty to attend her wedding in July of 2014 and the two were finally able to meet face to face. “She is MY hero,” says Brian. He and Charlotte have stayed in touch and she is now working on a Masters degree in education.
When we asked Brian what one thing he would say to others about this experience he said, “Do something. Give bone marrow, give platelets, give blood….just do something. You never know when it’s going to be you or someone you love that needs the help.”
Sherry’s Run is very excited to announce that we will be partnering with an organization called “Be The Match” to help residents right here in the Wilson County area sign up to be potential donors for patients in need of bone marrow transplants. Our first drive will be Thursday, January 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at our office: 110 Babb Drive, Lebanon. “It is very easy to sign up,” says Corrie Cluck, administrator for Sherry’s Run. “All you will need to do is answer a few basic health questions and provide a mouth swab and you will be entered in the database for potential matches.” Be The Match requires that donors at a local drive be ages 18-44 years of age. For those who are 45-60 years of age, you can visit https://bethematch.org/Support-the-Cause/Donate-bone-marrow/Join-the-marrow-registry/ and sign up to become a donor. If you have any questions, please call us at 615.925.2592.
Sherry’s Run is thankful for every opportunity that we are given by the generous residents of Wilson County to assist your neighbors who are battling cancer. We couldn’t do it without you!