My name is Kameron Nab, and I am a double Bone Marrow Transplant recipient
My life before my transplant was relatively normal for a five year old. I went to school, played outside, and played some sports. But one thing I remember is that I always seemed to be sick in some way. I remember always playing football with my dad when he got home from work. We would either play outside or inside depending on the weather. I wanted to play football really bad when I was young. When the process first began, I was too young to understand how much my family was affected by my hospitalization. But now, being older, I’ve heard stories of my family and how they handled it.
My parents have told me many times that they would just ask God “why did this happen to our son?” I know my grandparents mourned for me and wanted me to be well again, But there was always someone there for me in the hospital room. My dad on the weekends, and mom during the week and Occasionally my grandma. As far as a wait for my bone marrow, I can’t speak much to that point. Like I said, I was young and didn’t know what was happening. Sure, death was on my doorstep for that time, but I never thought of that. I was most concerned with who was going to win the Army Man fights I had regularly. I suppose that what I was missing most was my friends from school and hanging out with my brother’s friends. Since it was summer I was especially sad about that. His friends were a lot older than me, but I loved being with them. We would have Nerf wars, and light saber fights, and play basketball, all summer long. The worst part for me was being isolated and missing all those parts of my childhood.
As far as a “call” goes, , I remember feeling a sense of calm when I was told my old cells had returned. I may have been scared, but I wasn’t going to show it. I just remember having this thought that I could do it again and I had nothing to worry about.
After transplant, I have a new perspective on life now that I am older. I realize now, just how close I was to dying multiple times, and I appreciate life so much more now. I see things from a different angle, more mature than is typical for my age. I remember where I was and where I am now, and recognize the strenuous journey I underwent to get here.
My life is normal now, I go to high school, get good grades, enjoy spending time with friends. I see things through an optimistic point of view. Like nothing is too hard for me to accomplish. Any challenge I face I meet head on ready to win. While I’m still uncertain about what I want to do in the future, I have plans to attend University of Kentucky for my undergraduate, and then apply for Medical School specializing in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. My end goal would be to work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where I spent a large amount of time as a child. I want to be able to look at the patients in the hospital and be an example of hope and success for them, because I have been where they are, and I’m living proof that things do get better.
My first donor, was a German man named Mike. We had interaction with him via Skype and email. I always wanted to visit Germany and meet him, sadly that hasn’t happened yet. I remember one Thanksgiving, we Skyped him and had a conversation with him while my dad and I baked a pumpkin pie. He and his family were a blessing to us more than they will ever know. He saved my life, and sent us care packages from Germany on holidays. He sent me a big Lego airplane, and a hat of the soccer team in Germany, he even sent my brother a scarf of the same team. My brother still has that scarf hanging in his room .My second donor chose to remain anonymous, but we knew she was an American woman. Even though I don’t know her like I know Mike, my gratitude for her is the same. She understood what it would meant to donate her bone marrow to a person in need and she gave selflessly and she will never know how much I appreciate her gift.
To close I would like to ask a question. Do you know someone who has received a medical donation of any kind? Whether that be blood, platelets, or even an organ. Someone had to donate that life-saving gift. And if they hadn’t donated, the person you know may not have survived. So in this way, I ask you to consider donating to help save lives for people like me. If you cannot donate, then be thankful for those who answered that call. There are nearly 120,000 people on waiting lists across the country who need your help. In Kentucky, over 1,000. Is someone you know a part of that 1,000? Every day, 22 people die while on the waiting list. Imagine if you could save one of those people, and give them the gift of life once again.