The Generosity and Selflessness of Strangers
By Paul Dilorenzo
Throughout my life, I have relied on the generosity and selflessness of strangers to keep me alive. I was born with a disorder that requires me to get blood transfusions every 2 weeks since I was 1 year old. For most of my life, getting blood was never something I had to worry about. That changed with the pandemic. With blood shortages and a national blood crisis, I have become acutely aware of the fragility of my life. When I go to the hospital for my transfusions, I am filled with anxiety about whether I will get blood and that is, thankfully, followed by immediate relief when I found out that I was able to get the blood that I needed. However, with the national blood crisis, I realize that is not a guarantee.
The fear and vulnerability of knowing that my life relies on other people can be overwhelming. At the same time, it is incredibly humbling thinking of the countless people who selflessly roll up their sleeves to help people like me. People who are quite literally saving lives. There are no words that will ever come close to conveying my gratitude for their sacrifice. Instead, I try to live a meaningful life that I hope would make them proud. It is thanks to them that I lived past infancy, something that doctors told my parents would never happen. It is thanks to them I was able to experience a relatively normal childhood and adolescence. It is thanks to them that I was able to pursue my passion for computers, earning a BS and PhD in computer science. It is thanks to them that I now have my dream job where I feel fulfilled. It is thanks to them that I have a desire to give back to others through non-profit work and charitable contributions. And, most importantly, it is thanks to them that I was able to meet and marry my best friend. She makes me want to fight for my life so that we can grow old together.
To all of those who already donate: You have my endless and immeasurable gratitude. Please know that I, and so many others, are thankful for you every day.
To those who do not donate: On behalf of myself, and so many others, I implore you to consider donating. Your donation will quite literally save lives.