I’m a grumpy old curmudgeon. I hate having my heartstrings plucked while watching the news: life will pluck your heartstrings far too often in the normal course of events, whether you will or no; I don’t need anyone to go out of their way to pluck mine.
But this morning, as I was eating my breakfast and talking to Darleen and trying to make sense of my schedule for the day and watching the news, all at the same time—it’s called multi-tasking, and it’s about the least efficient or intelligent thing you can do, since it guarantees you will perform none of the tasks well or thoroughly—there was an item about two girls traveling around the country in a van. I was only giving the television about one fourth of my brain, such as it is, and even less of my attention, and certainly I had no interest in two girls going off on a post-college romp, no matter how happy and pretty and energetic they looked, but then we heard a phrase Darleen and I know well. It seems the two girls, sisters who look remarkably alike, were trying to find a bone marrow match for the younger one, who has aplastic anemia.
The television got all our attention.
Thirty-six years ago, just around the time Darleen and I first met while working together on an episode of Simon & Simon, and then on an episode of her series, Maverick, with the late James Garner, she gave birth to a little boy (by her feckless then husband) who was born with aplastic anemia.
There’s no point going through it all blow by blow. Suffice it to say, back then, the options were practically non-existent, and Darleen used to go from the set to the hospital to spend the night with her little boy, sleeping on the floor outside his room in the first hospital, on a fold-out chair in the room with him at the second hospital, as she frantically prayed and searched and fought for a miracle that did not happen.
The next morning she would be back on the set, composed and professional, on time, lines learned, ready to be whatever the day’s work called on her to be.
My oldest son was born the same year as her little boy. My oldest son is thirty-six now, married, happy, successful, and I rejoice for him, for the fact of his being.
Her little boy died when he was only three.
These two young ladies, Sam and Alex Kimura, are planning to drive all across the country in an effort raise awareness about this implacable disease, and in an effort to find the right DNA to save Sam. If anybody lives anywhere near where these two young ladies are going to be in their search for a bone marrow/DNA match, please stop by and give a sample of your DNA. It involves nothing more than a few minutes of your time and a swab of your cheek. Here is a link to their website: http://www.sharingamericasmarrow.com
I spent the morning sending out invitations to all my Facebook friends to like the sister’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sharingamericasmarrow?_rdr, and I’m so incompetent computer-wise and especially Facebook-wise that it took forever—the sisters are probably somewhere else by now—but please go on one of their sites and see if you can help. If you’re smarter than I on the computer—and it’s hard to imagine anyone not being smarter—please pass along the information about Sam and Alex Kimura.