It’s My Birthday Week!

As long as I can remember, I have always counted down to my birthday. (Even now, as I am about to turn 48 years old because 48 on 8/8! Woo! Numbernerd!) I have also always been SUPER uncomfortable with receiving gifts. I prefer to do something with friends rather than receive presents. Like, even when I was 5 years old I felt like this. I know. Weird.

Years ago, as my birthday was approaching, all I could think about was my close friend, Kris, who was in City of Hope cancer research hospital receiving treatment for leukemia. Kris, and hundreds of other patients there, were fighting so hard just to see another birthday, so I wanted to do anything I could to help her reach her goal. I didn’t match Kris’s blood type so I couldn’t donate much-needed blood transfusions to her, but I donated anyway, so another patient could benefit from it. I decided I wanted to do a marathon in her honor to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Wil joined me. Together, we raised $26,000 to aid in cancer research, but it still didn’t feel like enough. Kris is alive and well now, thanks to a life-saving stem cell transplant found on a donor registry from a woman in the midwest, so I signed up to be a donor myself in the hopes that one day I can help someone the way this woman helped my friend. (I still haven’t been called yet!)

I do what I can throughout the year to help people in different ways, but my birthday is always a reminder to give life-saving blood to those who are fighting for their lives. My birthday isn’t for a few more days, but I’m writing this today because I am taking a much needed off-the-grid vacation this week to spend with friends who are like family to us. If you’d like to help me celebrate my birthday (and you’re physically capable of donating blood) please do so this week at your local blood bank. If you aren’t able to (or if it freaks you out too much) please consider signing up to be a marrow donor (also only if you’re physically able to do so) at    

There are so many ways to help make life better for others. Whether you donate blood, take a little time to deliver for Meals On Wheels, volunteer your time or some supplies to a local homeless shelter, or read to kids in a library, you can make a difference in the lives of others. That is the best gift, ever.


16 thoughts on “It’s My Birthday Week!

  1. Be the Match says I’m too old, so I will donate to Meals on Wheels in your honor. Happy birthday, Anne!

  2. As a former Hep C patient thanks to a bullet in Vietnam, I cannot donate body fluids, but in celebration of your 48th and my 93 foster kids, I will make a donation to Vista Del Mar Family Services and a side donation to the Pasadena Humane Society.

    1. You are awesome, Bill. Thank you so much for all you do to help others and for donating on my behalf. Have a great week!

  3. I’ll be 38 on 8/8!! Totally with you on the gifts vs experiences thing! Have a lovely birthday week! xo

  4. Happy birthday, you beautiful person! I donate blood every eight weeks or so, am on every transplant doner list I could find, and will be donating all usable parts when I die, in part because you set such a good example.

    I wish you and your entire family, including those with four legs, a wonderful birthday week, month, and year!

    See you in February! Love, Laurie

  5. I can’t really do anything *physically* to donate and I’m tight on funds at the moment. I donate art to charity auctions throughout the year to help raise money for a non-profit and volunteer at fundraisers when I can, but it never feels like enough. I’ll try to think of something I can do to help celebrate your birthday since it’s thanks to blood and plasma transfusions I’m still here today! Anyhow, I hope you have a very happy birthday, Anne!

  6. Anne, you have such a beautiful soul. The world is so much better with you in it. I hope we give you everything you want for your birthday!

  7. Happy birthday, Anne. I’m already a marrow donor, but I’ll be donating blood in your honor this week. Hope you and your family have a great time.

  8. Yeeeeeears ago my sister and got on the marrow donor list. i wonder if it is still active? Anyone know? I donate blood when i can, i guess i always forget to ask if i am still on the list…

  9. Belated happy birthday! I hope you’re having an awesome time. My friends are searching for a bone marrow donor for their baby, so it’s nice to see the shout out. I gave blood about 10 days ago so I can’t for awhile, but it did give me these white lines running across my fingernails as a souvenir to show for it, they’re like my own personal tree rings ☺
    Also protip: don’t bring your 8 year old. Maybe he IS a very good boy and he will be well behaved and quiet, but he will also eat all your cookies and juice while you fill out the exit form and you’ll have to ask for more so you don’t faint.

  10. Happy belated birthday. Watching your husband on BBT & it reminded me to see how you are doing. Sounds like you have healed well. My youngest BIL had the male equivalent years ago so I can empathize with trying to figure it out. It took a while for him also. Good luck.

  11. I joined the donor registry 20+ years ago. My children were small then. There was a donor drive for a little girl locally who needed a bone marrow donor. I signed up with the “what if this was one of my kids?” thoughts. I’ve been contacted twice a a possible match, but that was all. I will turn 52 next month. Not sure if or what the donor limitation might be. I do have health issues that I have developed which may also disqualify me from being a donor.

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