I’m sure there have been many random acts of generosity in 2011; however, I would attribute the greatest ones to my friend, Abbie.
Toward the end of 2010, my friend, Abbie, used blogger and twitter to tell the story of her best friend, Bobbie.
Bobbie needed a kidney transplant, and she needed it as soon as possible. Her kidneys were working at less than 10%, and to me, not being too knowledgeable about kidney function, I thought it was incredible that Bobbie was able to be as active as she was.
In January 2011, actor and New Kids on the Block member, Donnie Wahlberg, saw the tweet and retweeted the blog link to his almost 200,000 followers.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center had already received a few calls as a result of my friend’s blog, but with Donnie Wahlberg’s tweet, the calls more than quadrupled! I wanted to get tested as a potential donor, but with my health issues, both my friend and my husband said no.
In June 2011, Bobbie attended a NKOTB concert and received a new kidney from the sister of a woman who was following Donnie Wahlberg on twitter.
Both Bobbie and her donor are doing excellent. Bobbie is preparing for her wedding, and she no longer requires dialysis.
It is absolutely amazing to me how social media enabled this medical miracle for Bobbie. I’m not sure if this method of finding an organ transplant has been used before. I suppose this proves not only that desperate times require desperate measures, but also a tweet, like a pebble, makes many ripples.
Donnie Wahlberg has been credited with finding Bobbie’s kidney. While he has considerably more followers than my friend, Abbie, it was her blog and her tweet which spurred the amount of selfless generosity required to find Bobbie a kidney. It should come as no surprise, then, that Abbie is the 2011 angel behind Remember Betty, an organization designed to raise money for the Susan G Komen Foundation in honor of Danny Wood’s mother who passed in 1999 of breast cancer. Aside from participating in multiple breast cancer fundraisers across the country, she is active in reminding other blockheads (New Kids on the Block fans) of both Komen sponsored and blockhead-organized events. Again, while Danny Wood is the reason why blockheads have raised close to 1 million dollars for the Komen Foundation in memory of Betty Wood, I contend it is Abbie’s generous donation of time that has continued Danny’s vision.
I admire Abbie’s acts of generosity this year. She used the passionate love she has for her best friend and the passionate hate she has for cancer to accomplish great things in 2011. What’s more is she has an attitude of selflessness and confidence that I don’t believe I have seen operate in tandem within anyone else I know. Therefore, it is both Abbie’s passion in action and attitude that I will use as examples as I move into 2012.