Catch a Disease, Save a Life.
The most surprising thing about being a dad is how much it makes me care about humanity. I think it’s because I spend a lot of time thinking about the kind of person I want my little girl to grow up to be. Whenever I hear a story of someone exhibiting one of the most important character traits that I daydream about Rosalie ending up with, it totally effects me. Even sports stories are getting to me these days.
When Kerry Wood retired and showed the world his sensitive side I got choked up. When I read about the high school track star who carried her fallen opponent over the finish line I shed enough tears to make Ben Stein jealous. And, when I saw the story of a lacrosse player named Welles who saved dozens of lives on 9/11, I cried in a way I had never cried before.
There’s no doubt that these stories affect me so much these days because I desperately want Rosalie to have the same amount of humanity that these amazing people have. Which means I desperately want to know how to help her get there. How do you teach a little girl about compassion, optimism and heroicism? The more I think about it, the answer is simple. To teach a little girl about compassion, optimism and heroicism, you have to be compassionate, optimistic and heroic yourself. And so, I’m affected by these stories of humanity not only because I want my daughter to be that way, but because I want to be that way too.
This brings me to the story of Matt Rognstad – a Minneapolis man in dire need of a kidney transplant. I heard about the latest chapter of his saga and realized that there’s never been a better chance for a regular person to be a hero. You see, Matt has a kidney donor lined up and is ready for transplant, except that – in a bizarre twist of irony – he needs to contract mono disease in order to avoid a high risk of cancer after his surgery and thus, save his life. You know that kissing disease that caused your college friend to fail second semester of sophomore year? That’s the disease that Matt needs to contract. So, he needs to not only find someone in the Minneapolis area who has mono, but he needs to find someone in the Minneapolis area who has mono and is willing to hang out with him long enough to make sure he gets the disease. Do you have mono? Do you know someone who does? All you have to do is raise your hand, send Matt an email and you’ll be a hero. So please, tell your friends, tell your enemies and tell every college sophomore that you know. Do it for Matt, do it for yourself, and do it for our kids. If we want them to grow up to be amazing people, we’ve got to start by becoming them ourselves.
*photo appears courtesy of OneKidneyMATTers.com
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