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.