One year ago a lab technician thawed out six syringes filled with my stem cells. She handed them one at a time to a doctor. Over the course of about an hour, and under the direction of a nurse practitioner, that doctor pushed those cells into my heart and saved my life. Saved my life most immediately from lethal chemotherapy that had destroyed my bone marrow and more generally from cancer.
Over the next 14 days my body systems would begin to breakdown – unable to be replenished by my body’s now silenced blood cells. I would be kept alive through blood transfusions and I would be isolated from the world to avoid simple pathogens that could be fatal to a man with no immune system.
Throughout this whole process my wife and mother stayed by my side and got me to walk and eat and hope. My brother-in-law supplied feedback and teaching. Nurses cared for me. Doctors monitored my progress and ordered transfusions and medication. Friends sent in cards, colleagues covered classes, and my distributed social network transformed into a cheering section wishing me to health.
To my wife, my mother, those nurses, doctors, friends, colleagues and the network thank you.