Cyrus Tingley via Crowdrise
November 16, 2012
This past July, my friend Sandy Flint - in his typically humble, upbeat and unassuming manner - emailed me to say he had been battling a rare stem cell disorder called aplastic anemia and was gearing up to get a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Betsy, in August.
Aplastic anemia is an autoimmune disease that causes all three types of blood cells (red, white and platelets) to become depleted. Here's a little more info: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/aplastic/
Never one for self-pity (or even a shred of negativity), Sandy assured me he would be on his way to recovery before we - his many, many, many friends privileged enough to count him a buddy - knew it. It was still pretty shocking and certainly sobering to think about a guy who could rip up Jackson Hole all morning, not stop dancing for an entire Telluride Bluegrass Festival, shake the glass at a Rangers game, and then catch and grill a bunch of fish from a raft in the Grand Canyon not being able to walk 40 feet or read more than ten pages because he's sick.
Sandy luckily had a sibling match for a transplant in the form of Betsy. If you don't have that ace up your sleeve and you get hit with a disease like this, you're looking at 1:10,000 odds of finding a match and the skies get darker if you have a rare HLA type. This is 70% of people that need a donor. 70% don't find one in their family and need to rely on something like the National Bone Marrow Registry.
Sandy tells me he's now cracked over 60 days with his new stem cells and is now keeping the blood they're producing (no more transfusions) and his levels are continuing the rise. The guy's thinking about hiking part of the Appalachian Trail soon. His sister Betsy climbed the Grand Teton just 5 weeks after donating her bone marrow to Sandy. Is this an amazing family or what? Must be something in the water over there on the Flint farm.
Long story short, Sandy is going to be back to running rapids, skiing powder, making us laugh and hula-hooping with other well-educated hippies before we know it - because he got a bone marrow transplant when he needed it. I'm going to celebrate this good news not only with some tallboy PBRs, a Sox game and my buddy Sandy at his earliest convenience, but also by running the Philadelphia Half-Marathon in November in his honor and to raise money and awareness for the National Bone Marrow Registry as a part of Team RTR (Racing to Register).
Everybody deserves the best chance possible to get back to doing the things they love with the people they love and a key step towards that reality is making sure people go and get registered (do it here: http://marrow.org/Home.aspx NOW!) and helping fund the NBMR to keep doing their thing.
Time is short but your money is long. I am hoping to raise $1000 by race day, November 18th. Anything you can give is appreciated and you should know it's to honor one of the best people I've ever had the honor of skiing, skating, jamming and slamming with, and help other good people have the same shot at returning to good health!
Go ahead, click the orange button that says "Donate"!
Got any questions or want to run, hit me up!
firstname.lastname@example.org / 860 921 8540
Now, here's the stock text which I hope I managed to improve on...
TEAM RTR members are running one of the fastest, flattest (yeah!) marathons in the US. The Philadelphia Half Marathon. Its on November 18, 2012 and its a run around the City of Philly! These awesome folks have committed to help Racing To Register continue to register more people to the National Bone Marrow Donor Registries...and inspire patients and donors through their efforts. So come on, show some support and donate in honor of them, or in memory of someone....we can all make a difference.