By Julia | November 12, 2011
I was recently given the opportunity to save someone’s life. Who, I don’t really know yet, or if they even need saving, but nonetheless, I’m here. Ready. I recently signed up for the bone marrow donor registry, and the cause hits pretty close to home. As one of the most amazing people I have ever met (and I don’t use superlatives lightly, so you know it means something) needed a bone marrow transplant to save his life. His name was Alex Dobay.
He was 2 years older than me in high school, but after being diagnosed with cancer and having to leave for his bone marrow transplant and recovery in New York, he ended up graduating only one year ahead of me. He was one of those people who brightened up any room he walked into, and he was always of high spirits, despite the challenges that he had been facing.
While he had received a bone marrow transplant, to treat his initial cancer and put him in remission, he was later diagnosed with leukemia and unfortunately succumbed to his 3 year battle to cancer just months after graduating and just before he was to start college. He was 19 years old.
I’m not trying to make anyone sad, but to let Alex’s story inspire you. He was the type of person that everyone loved. One staff member even named her dog Dobes (after his last name and nickname, Dobay) because of Dobay’s incredible personality.
When approached to get tested for the bone marrow registry, I immediately thought of Dobay. I was never that close to Dobay, because of our age and grade difference, but I’m absolutely sure that there was no one that he encountered that he couldn’t inspire. Even 3 years after his death, he still inspires people, just look at his facebook page. So with a couple swabs of my cheeks, and some contact information, I was all signed up.
If you are interested in learning more about the bone marrow registry and potentially signing up, (its quick, easy, and painless) you can find out more at this facebook event. On Friday, November 18th from 12pm-4pm in the Ohio Union.
If you know someone battling for cancer, do it for them. If you don’t know anyone in that situation, do it for Dobay.
If only we could all live like Dobay. Sometimes people like him come around for just long enough to reminds us how we’re really supposed to live:
“Be friendly when you don’t have to be, show a little respect, try to make a difference for the better, and when things don’t go your way, just work it out the best you can and you can still smile knowing that you did what you could.” – Jeffrey Alexander Dobay
The Jeffrey Alexander Dobay Entertainment (JADE) foundation founded in Alex’s memory to help provide “moments of joy” to cancer patients: http://www.jade55.org/about-us.html