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This is a story about hope and faith and love featuring two lucky folks who lived long and happy lives in spite of the diseases that they encountered.

Fennie had sickle cell disease . She lived to the ripe old age of 47 thanks to blood donations. The last time I saw her was when I dropped her off in the project after this banquet honoring donors of the blood that had kept her alive for all those years. When we first met, she was a surly angry gal with an attitude. We all brushed it off and came to love her and her bad veins. Years of being stuck with needles will leave you with hard to get blood for lab testing. Originally from Chicago, she had nobody to mourn when she died, save for her church family and those of us who loved her in spite of the attitude. We were the same age...and I have very little tolerance for bullshit so we got along just fine.

Harold had leukemia . He was a bit older and a smartass like me :) His wife was by his side every step of the way on the journey that was the disease that took his life.

In this picture, we were all fellowshipping over good food and talking about how giving blood can change a life. They both cried when they spoke about how they were alive that day because of the generosity of other people with their time and blood cells. The gift of life.

That night, when I took Fennie home, she asked me to call her when I got to the house....just so she'd know I got here okay. You can bet I did.

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