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Alex Lyon — Giving Without Hesitation

Nominated by Rachel Tasch; Written by Shelley Hebert

When Beth Am’s Education Program Director Alex Lyon got the call in May telling her that she had a chance to save a life, she did not hesitate for a moment. About 15 years ago, 32-year-old Alex had registered as a potential bone marrow donor one day when she happened to see a campaign underway at a music festival. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the moment had arrived when someone who was a match for the invaluable gift she was prepared to give was ready.

All Alex was told about the person for whom she was a match was that he is a young adult in need of a bone marrow transplant. That was enough for her to agree that she would take the next steps to ensure that she was healthy enough to become a donor. After undergoing a medical exam and blood tests in Berkeley, Alex got the news that she had been cleared to proceed.  

A home health nurse came to her several days before the donation procedure and Alex began a series of injections aimed at boosting her production of white blood cells. On the day of the donation, which took place in mid-July, she was hooked up to a machine for six hours. Due to the extra precautions related to COVID-19, no one was allowed to accompany her.

“For me, it didn’t matter if I had to go through some minor aches and pains,” Alex said. “It’s nothing compared to what I’m sure he is going through.” She looks forward to hearing soon how the recipient of her bone marrow is doing and is open to the possibility of having contact with him, if he would like to be in touch with her.

Before the March shutdown, Alex had been helping with plans to hold a bone marrow registration drive at Beth Am’s annual Purim carnival. Now she has a personal experience to inspire others to register when it becomes possible to have an in-person event.

“I would do it again,” Alex said. Her spirit of generosity is a wonderful reminder that we all may have something precious to give.

For information about the organization Alex worked with to become a donor, visit the DKMS website.

Sun, September 20 2020 2 Tishrei 5781