The Decision to Donate Bone Stem Cells to a Complete Stranger, the “Golden Rule” and a Certain Level of Empathy

by Matt Hoffman

The decision to donate Bone Stem Cells to a complete stranger was one that followed the “Golden Rule,” and a certain level of empathy. To me, I believed that I should treat others the same way as I wished to be treated. With that in mind, I found myself in Warren’s shoes (Warren Sallach...the recipient and Texas cancer patient). If I had a donor who had matched up with my DNA, I couldn’t imagine how that person could turn away and decide not to help me. This simple truth made the decision very easy for me.

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I also realized that playing in my last football game in 2009 would only gratify me with statistics which won’t make a difference ten years from now. On the other hand, donating to save a person’s life is a decision that will affect my life forever, as well as his or her life.

A little over a year after I donated to Warren, the decision has made me realize so much more about how precious life is and how personal gains seem so minuscule as opposed to pure altruism in helping others. I hope that many other people who are in my position will do the same as I did, even though I know there are individuals who do match up to patients and still back out at the last minute.

In all, this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and one that I will never, ever forget.

If you wish to donate, please contact:

Hahnemann University Hospital
230 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Tel: 215-762-7000

Thank you!

TONY'S COMMENT: Talk about wearing someone else's shoes.


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