Gratitude of a Silent Saviour
Father Luke Fong talks about his donor

Father Luke Fong talks about his donor and shares that it really is a BIG DEAL to save a life — and THANK YOU.

Receiving a donation

One of the most important things one can ever learn and make part of one’s life is deep gratitude. Gratitude makes us among other things, deep believers in the fact that everything in life is a gift, and that we truly come into the world with nothing, and leave with nothing. Everything else in between these beginning and end points in life is the unfolding of providence, and those of us who believe in a loving and providing God, attribute this to the God of grace and abundance.


On 25 July 2013, I received from an anonymous donor a bag of precious stem cells which were a perfect match for mine which unfortunately were at that time plagued with Leukaemia. My doctors were clear in telling me that my chances of living were highly dependent on getting a 1-in-20,000 match so that I could get a chance of full remission and hence recovery. Writing this a year after the transplant shows bear testimony that the transplant was effective and that I do stand a good chance of a full recovery in time to come.


It is in the light of these developments that I write this article with a twofold purpose. Firstly, to thank my anonymous donor for his life-saving and selfless act of giving me the precious stem cells to re-boot my own workings in my marrow, and secondly, to encourage anyone reading this to become a possible life-saver to someone for whom you too, could be that perfect 1-in-20,000 match.

Many of us may have grand plans for our lives (...) But have we ever stopped to consider that the actual saving of another human being is indeed a ‘grand’ plan if it were indeed possible?

- Father Luke Fong
'No big deal'

Many of us may have grand plans for our lives – some of these plans include being successful in our careers, raising a good family, and contributing to society in various ways. But have we ever stopped to consider that the actual saving of another human being is indeed a ‘grand’ plan if it were indeed possible? There have been many donors of organs, bone marrows and stem cells who have made that great difference in many patients’ lives, and there hasn’t been much said about their acts of courage and valour in their generosity. Some have said that it is ‘no big deal’.


I beg to differ. It is a ‘big deal’. A very big deal. Think of the odds at hand – 1-in-20000 is like a strike in a lottery, only in this case, the winner is already holding the winning ticket and it is up to him or her to cash it in. Your willingness to sign up to be on the world-wide register narrows the chances for a needy patient looking for that perfect match for a chance to live again, and to hope again. What can save another life is not something that is in your back account, not something in your intellect, and not something that you made. It is something that you inherited in life through nature and is a part of you. It is in your DNA. That is why it really is a big deal. Your very self becomes the big deal that can save a life of someone whom you don’t know, but someone whose life depends on you and you alone.


It is with deep hope that this sharing of my thoughts on this life-saving matter will give you, the reader, at least one very good reason to place yourself on that world-wide register of potential donors. Someone’s life may just be hinging on your willingness to step forward to avail yourself to his or her need, and yes, for him or for her, it will definitely be a ‘big deal’.


Written by Father Luke Fong - Download PDF of this article.

PUBLISHED ON 23 October 2017
Registering to become a bone marrow donor means committing to be there when you get the call to give life. Each registrant provides hope for those waiting. A person could, however, be a match within a few months of registering, a year later or even seven years later.
How to register?