This post was written in partnership with Be The Match. Real patients like 11-year-old Kamryn are currently searching for a life-saving marrow donor. Learn more and sign up for the Be The Match Registry® at www.join4kami.org.
There is no bond like that of a parent and child. From the moment they are born, the overwhelming love is unmatched by any other experience in life. We do our best from the very start to ensure we are doing our best to keep them from harm, keep them healthy, and protect them at all costs. I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to not be able to protect them from a debilitating disease that is attacking their body. We count our blessings each day that we have two healthy and active boys. Although, that just doesn’t feel like enough at times.
I remember being a young teenager and feeling helpless, watching the doctors scour our family members asking for blood. My dad was involved in an accident, and desperately needed transfusions. At the time, I didn’t know my blood type, and I was unaware that I was a match for his rare O-Negative blood type. This has always been a deep regret of mine, and has always effected me. My father would eventually succumb to his injuries, and our lives were forever changed.
The moment I turned eighteen, I made a few very important adult decisions. One of those key decisions was to donate blood as quickly as I could. I wound up donating platelets as well. Seeing the need for my blood type and having been through my own experience with my father, I began to dive more deeply into donating in different ways. Changing the lives of real patient’s like 11-year-old Kamryn, suddenly became a possibility.
Joining the marrow transplant donor list was one of the most profound decisions I could make as an adult. Be The Match makes is possible for donors like myself can have a profound life-changing effect on people’s lives like young Kamryn. Marrow transplants can provide life-saving treatment for over seventy diseases. It may be hard to believe but most marrow transplant patients don’t have a match within their own family, and rely on organizations like Be The Match to help connect them with their donor match. While I am older now, I am glad I signed up when I was young. The younger a person, the healthier their marrow, which means they will more likely be a match for more patients, and change more lives.
Signing up is as simple as a three-second cheek swab to get you in the system and see if you are a match for anyone like Kamryn, who currently doesn’t have any match just yet. The procedure can be simple and painless, or require a bit of recovering in a few cases, a small price to pay for saving a young life, like Kamryn’s. You can learn more about her story and sign up to join the registry at join4kami.org.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
This blog post was sponsored by Starbucks® but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
There are few things are a given in gift-giving. Clothing is pretty personal, you need to have the person’s correct size and style in order to make the right choice. Perfume is another personal item that takes a certain level of intimacy in order for you to get just the right scent. Homemade gifts are always a welcomed surprise. Nothing says you care like a little DIY.
However, not everyone is crafty or wants to spend time hot gluing themselves to stuff. Personally I love it. But there are some really simple recipes that you can whip together and surprise a friend of neighbor and they will be truly touched. The season is all about giving, and giving a bit of your time and attention says way more than anything you could have purchased at a department store.
We started gifting our neighbors with cookie mix a few years ago. I noticed the smile it brought to parents faces (I’m sure they’re relieved they have one less worry on X-mas Eve), and the excitement on their kids faces when we drop off cookies for Santa! It brings the community and families together. The kids are excited to move the process along in anticipation of jolly old St. Nick. I pour all of the dry ingredients into a mason jar, then cover it with a nice fabric (in this case burlap) and tie on a holiday-themed cookie cutter.
I realized that I wanted to also give a gift to the parents in my neighborhood, and nothing says love more than a hot cup of joe. I figure if I’m giving their kids sugar the least I should do is give their parents some caffeine. I used the Starbucks® K-Cup pods in festive flavors like Peppermint Mocha, and poured the dry ingredients into a clear bulb I found at a local craft store. I added a few marshmallows for good measure. I purchased a holiday mug and tied them together with a festive bow. Add a chocolate stick or a candy cane and drop by to share some moments of joy, I promise you will be met with all smiles. Be sure and include a tag with instruction on how to proceed with baking. You can find printable tags here with instructions.
I also used some of the Starbucks® signature Holiday Blend available at Walmart. Perfect for gifting your friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Everyone loves experiencing the rich taste of the holiday season. It’s perfect for inviting friends over to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season! Right now you can receive 75 stars with purchase of 3 qualifying Starbucks® products at Walmart by 12/26/16. Find out how by going to: www.walmart.com/starbucksholiday.