When Brooks Dame was in high school, a friend of his named Jessica was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus. Thanks to specialized treatment made possible by bone marrow donors, Jessica survived her bout with lupus.
The experience of watching Jessica undergo treatment lingered with Brooks, who remembers, “I had grown up with Jessica, and it really got me thinking. A lot of people in this world need a hand or help in one form or another. If I was sick and someone could donate bone marrow to help save my life, I’d really appreciate that. I’ve been so blessed with small miracles throughout my life that I thought maybe I could help someone out with a small miracle of their own.”
That empathy and desire to give eventually motivated Brooks to overcome his fear of needles and sign up for a bone marrow registry.
A year later, Brooks received a phone call about a potential match. A man in his 30s, who had a wife and small children, was fighting a desperate battle with leukemia.
“I was nervous, but I thought a lot about that man,” Brooks remembers. “This was his last chance at surviving.”
After a series of tests (including needles), Brooks flew to a hospital in Denver for the bone marrow donation.
“The procedure is dangerous and very painful, but I knew it was the right thing to do,” Brooks says. “The more I thought about that man and his family, the more I hoped that my small sacrifice, in some way, made a difference.”
Afterwards, Brooks was still afraid of needles. But what he’d gained was much greater than fear. He had learned it was worth just about any sacrifice to know he might have prolonged another person’s life.
Sacrifice. Pass It On!
This billboard about Sacrifice features Brooks Dame.
Pass It On®
Brendy from Milwaukee APRIL 25, 2016
This story motivated me to donate my organs.
Vanessa from CT MARCH 21, 2016
Brooks Dame is very brave and strong. He is a hero, because he doesn't even know the person, but he gave an important bone to them! I wonder if he is still alive?
Daniel from NC OCTOBER 23, 2015
keep giving to those in need
Trinity from NC OCTOBER 23, 2015
This was a awesome story and a very giving story :)
Jay from Plattville SEPTEMBER 8, 2015
This is the definition of sacrifice
Reyna from Rowland Heights,CA APRIL 28, 2014
He is such a nice, kind person to give his bone marrow to someone
Farishta from United States APRIL 23, 2014
Very Brave!!!! Brooks is really a modern day Hero
Sofie from Pulaski APRIL 22, 2014
Yessica Selva from Panama FEBRUARY 27, 2014
WOW!!! I meet Brooks Dame in El Salvador as a LDS missionary. I knew he is was a great man, but know I Know he is a HERO.
Brad from R JANUARY 2, 2014
starr from houma OCTOBER 15, 2013
Lily Sykes from Raleigh NC AUGUST 5, 2013
WOW that is awesome!!!! He is a true hero!
james zell from adrian APRIL 16, 2013
Great story, I mean a really good one.
Hannah Sayen from Pulaski, Wisconsin FEBRUARY 20, 2013
WOW! Brooks Dame is truly a hero. He gave up something important for someone who truly needed it. He is a truly amazing man.
Ron Mickelson from Portland, Oregon APRIL 20, 2011
He sacraficed giving up his bone marrow for a stranger. That's going above and beyond! Way to go Brooks Dame!
Aiman from Pakistan FEBRUARY 20, 2011
Over the years I have observed that true love is not based on romance and walking along the beach. It's based on compromises and sacrifices!
Sammie S. from Austin, Texas FEBRUARY 12, 2011
carly l from south carolina OCTOBER 7, 2010
Wow. This person redefines the word sacrifice. He considered what he did a small sacrifice, but he saved the life of a stranger.
Joanne Peterson from NH OCTOBER 7, 2010
We need more unselfish and unconditionally loving people like this young gentleman in the world.
Teresa I. from Utah DECEMBER 12, 2009
What a great gift Brooks gave to this man and his family. I hope the person lived to get to know Brooks.
Chad B. from S.C. NOVEMBER 6, 2009
Awesome. Great story.
Inspirational. I'm going to get signed up.
Chase D. from Brookings, Oregon MAY 19, 2009
Wow. That person definitely has got guts to do that. That is amazing. Doing a transplant on bone marrow sounds extremely painful and it would be extremely painful.
Kristen V. from Dallas, TX FEBRUARY 1, 2009
What a great story. Thanks for sharing it. I love to hear about everyday people doing great things for others.
Sometimes we think "What can I do? I'm no one special. I don't have great talents or great riches." But stories like this give us the answer. We do what we can. We give what we can. We pass it on.
Judy J from Pennsylvania NOVEMBER 9, 2008
WOW! What an inspiration and what an example of living the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Scott O from Canada NOVEMBER 1, 2008
I have been on the receiving end of a bone marrow transplant. I was in a similar situation. I had Leukemia, a wife and three children. The transplant was my only help. Eight years has now passed. On behalf of all bone marrow recipients thank you to all bone marrow donors. Your gift lives.
bemgba paul from gboko Benue State,Nigeria JUNE 4, 2008
That was wonderful, and really hard to think of. Taking pains to save life. Bless you.
Ellie T. from Washington state USA APRIL 24, 2008
How AWESOME! What a great story. I would love to do the same. How do I get involved?
Thenderson from Peoria, IL MARCH 28, 2008
I'd like to do the same but have no idea how to do so. I currently donate whole blood and platelets at the Red Cross but they have not been any help. Do you think you can tell me how to get started?
Bob G. from California FEBRUARY 25, 2008
Wow, this is such a cool story. Something that all of us can do, but don't. We all have the chance to be Heroes if we'll just do it. I love the stories of the everyday heroes like Brooks. They are just as inspiring if not more so than the well known names. Good work Brooks. I'll be on the look out for your billboard. I'm sure it'll bring a smile to my face.
Teresa from Utah, USA DECEMBER 17, 2007
Brooks gives us all the knowledge of what it takes to sacrifice. I congratulate him and others. I am sure he is rewarded daily, he is a great person. I am betting the whole family is so thankful!
Amanda H. from Oregon, USA NOVEMBER 8, 2007
This is so selfless of him. This should really make people want to do the same thing....but it may hurt. I'm sure he got through the pain though.
Evelyn B. from Oregon, USA NOVEMBER 7, 2007
This story is very inspiring! I think it was very selfless of him to donate bone marrow, especially when he is so young!
Day W. from Kansas, USA SEPTEMBER 14, 2007
It is strangers like that who are going to end up changing the world. People who want to help people they never have, and probably never will, meet. Brooks didn't want a reward for his good deed. He had enough reward dimply doing the deed. He is the kind of person kids should be looking up to.
Ryan S. from Gutemala, California USA AUGUST 31, 2007
I like this a lot. It is a simple thing that caused huge results. We need to praise more unsung heroes.
Jessica J. from Oregon, USA AUGUST 31, 2007
I know Brooks. He is the most giving guy. He'd give more than his bone marrow if you asked him for it. What a great honor to him. I love to see good people having good things happen to them. There are far too many negative stories out there. You wonder if there is any good in the world. What a great story. I love seeing your billboards when I travel all over the country. They are inspiring. And these people are real I can attest to that.
Teresa I. from Utah AUGUST 12, 2007
Kudos to Brooks for deciding to do this and save a life. I hope he was able to be in contact or know if the man did well with transplant, if not he knows he did his best.
Chris I. from Minnesota JULY 28, 2007
I work with hundreds of youth and I often feel like so much needs to be done to help so many in need. What a wonderful organization For Better Life is as hope an inspiration are so necessary for change.
Susan H. from Napa, Ca. USA JULY 26, 2007
I had two kidneys. A friend needed one. Why not share? I can easily live with one.
Sneha M from United kingdom JUNE 3, 2007
Hey, I'm 11 years old and I like helping others who need more help than me. I always try my best because if you try harder you will succeed. *So all the best*
Anonymous MAY 25, 2007
you guys are amazing!
Steven M from Australia MAY 2, 2007
It's no sacrifice, it is a pleasure to be able to help someone. I am an organ donor and pride myself in keeping good enough to help some more needy than me.