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Why Not Save a Life


~ Interview with Emily Mak, Member of SKH St Peter’s Church North Point and a bone marrow donor

By Amy Fung
 

        That the Customs Inspector Simon Hui Sai-man selflessly offered to save his fellow officer’s life by donating part of his liver was made known to almost everyone in town last year. In fact, quite the same story also took place in SKH St Peter’s Church North Point twenty years ago. At that time, a church member who was diagnosed with leukaemia (i.e. blood cancer) was in desperate need of bone marrow transplant for a cure. The Youth Ministry soon initiated the first-ever blood drive to recruit suitable donor for that brother in the Church. That night, near 40 church members showed up for testing, making the 1000-square-feet chapel almost impassable. In spite of all the efforts, the patient passed away because no matched donor was found. The Church’s blood drive however offered Emily Mak (below photo), a secondary school teacher, a precious opportunity to save the life of an unknown patient later on.

 
        Emily said that finding a matched bone marrow donor was as difficult as winning the Mark Six first prize. Though only 19 years old, she partook in the Church’s blood drive to try her best to help her godfather - the badly ill church member. Her data was thus registered in the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Years later, Emily’s tissue type was found matched with another patient’s, making her become someone’s “Mark Six first prize”!
 
        After discussing with the doctor about the donation process and the risk of the operation, Emily realised that blood stem cells have the regeneration potential so the donated cell will be replenished by the body within a short period of time. Therefore, she told her family about her wish to donate and took 3-day sick leave from the school she was working to prepare for the bone marrow donation in the hospital. “When generally anesthetised, you don’t know anything at all. I think I feel much worse to catch a cold than to give bone marrow!” Emily laughed. Her good friend even asked her mother to make a large pot of soup with two chickens for Emily as supplement after discharging from the hospital – so sweet and touching.
 
        Emily has also signed the organ donation card to show her support. “Should there be a chance to save other people’s lives even when we are no longer alive, why not do so?” she said.
 
Live the image of God
 
        The Revd Leung Ka-jor (below photo), Vicar of SKH St Matthew’s Church, also took the blood test at St Peter’s twenty years ago because the ill brother was his classmate at SKH St Michael’s Primary School. In The Revd Leung’s heart, this old good friend was active, clever and competent enough to manage his career, family, and service at Church properly at the same time.He was the vestry member and also the department head as well as leader of the youth ministry. Not only was he adored by the fellow church members, he was also the role model of The Revd Leung. People were so sad to know that he got so seriously ill all of a sudden, especially those of his age. “We were all about 20 to 30 years old, in the prime of our lives. We had never thought of suffering from such a serious illness. It was our first time to face death,” The Revd Leung said. With the Vicar’s support, members of the Youth Ministry quickly contacted the Red Cross and wrote to promote the blood drive on the Church’s weekly, in order to help find suitable bone marrow donor within the shortest period of time. Although they could not save that brother’s life in the end, The Revd Leung was so moved by the heartfelt contributions of each and every church member at that time. He believed that it is from the bottom of the church members’ hearts to help when they know there is a brother in need, and this is also an act of faith in God that they have developed for years. Not only do they hear God’s word, but they also live His image.
 
 

 

2011-04-06   更新
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「金融海嘯」為全球帶來經濟危機,各地的經濟、政治、社會、和民生都受到衝擊。鄺保羅大主教一直關心不利環境對教友和普羅市民的影響,經過多方合力籌劃,教省確定並委託福利協會統籌執行「心意行動」計劃,目標是為教友、堂、校和社服機構的同工及其家人提供多層次的支援,在不利環境之中強化彼此關顧和支持,延伸「關懷教會」的優良文化。