In April 2009, I was on the publishing team that released The Noticer
by Andy Andrews
. I still remember where I was sitting when I read chapter four of the advanced copy, and my life was never the same. As a chronic worrier, my fear of the unknown was almost debilitating, but Andy's simple words about probability changed my perspective.
The book was a success. Of course, I knew it would be. Andy was on Good Morning America. The book hit the New York Times
best seller list. People around the country loved the message of Jones, a noticer, and the perspective he brought to people's lives. I thought the impact the book had on me was complete, but I was wrong.
In the fall of 2010, while traveling with Andy in New York City to promote The Noticer
, we attended a media mixer that benefited DKMS
– an international bone marrow registry. I knew very little about bone marrow donation at the time. They told me it was very rare to be a match, and I might never receive a call to donate, but the need was great. I completed the easy registration process confident I would be up to the challenge if ever called, and life continued.
The Call to Be a Bone Marrow Donor
Years later, I was shocked to receive the call that I was a preliminary match to a 29-year-old male with acute myeloid leukemia. DKMS told me that I might never hear from the recipient. We might never meet, and I might never know if he lived or died. I had to come to grips with that. Could I do this – could I go through all this - and never know? That is when a quote from The Noticer
came back to mind.
“While it is true that most people never see or understand the difference they make, or sometimes only imagine their actions having a tiny effect, every single action a person takes has far-reaching consequences.”
I decided to write my recipient an anonymous letter prior to the donation. I had no idea what to say. "Hi, I'm your bone marrow donor?" Asked by DKMS to not share personal details, I instead told him about my family and my love of Doctor Who and the Chicago Cubs. I told him about The Noticer
and the impact it had on my life, and I sent him a copy.
A year to the date of his procedure to replace his stem cells with my own, I got an email from Josh. There he was. Sometimes I think about how God’s timing is perfect. When I was promoting The Noticer
all those years ago, God knew Josh would have leukemia. And I would register to be a bone marrow donor. He saved him before he was ever sick. Now our lives are forever linked.
Josh, me, and Jack - a representative from DKMS
Josh’s birthday was last week. He is healthy, leukemia-free, and engaged to be married. And while my life seems much the same as it did before I donated, it never will be.
DKMS and the Chicago Cubs
DKMS coordinated Josh and I meeting for a Chicago Cubs game
in July 2016. Looking back, I’ll never forget my parents tearfully meeting Josh’s parents. I’ll never forget being introduced to Josh’s sister - a working wife and mother, much like myself - who was heartbroken she couldn’t be the one to help her brother. I’ll never forget my first hug with Josh – a little awkward with all the cameras around, and our last – strong and confident.
changed my life. It allowed me to make an impact, and in this case, change someone’s life - mine. Thank God for books.
HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., operates Page Chaser, the publisher of