Make a difference, support those in need

Things can change in a flash; the tide will shift, the stars will realign, promises of forever can vanish. One minute you are perfectly healthy, the next a life-altering diagnosis can send you reeling in disbelief.

At those times in our lives, or the lives of our loved ones, the most reassuring, uplifting thing that can happen is realizing that you aren’t on the road alone, that others are with you, cheering you every step of the way, lifting prayers and showing support in big and small ways.

We see that kind of outpouring in our community all the time. There are fundraisings galore to help those who are sick or underprivileged. Just around the corner is this community’s annual Relay for Life which raises thousands upon thousands of dollars for cancer research, and, just as importantly, lifts the spirits of survivors and gives comfort to those who have lost friends and family.

We have lost so many in our community to cancer’s deadly grasp that it’s hard to comprehend, and there are many more fighting courageous battles with the disease right now. Our heart goes out to them all, our support is with them, and our prayers will continue to be lifted for them day after day.

The same is true for those suffering from other diseases, such as leukemia, heart and liver disease, mental disorders and countless other health issues that have left them battle-weary, afraid and in need of a hand to lift them, a prayer to sustain them, a word to encourage them.

While there are many, we have shared two of those stories recently in The Sampson Independent, hoping to readers’ attention and, at the same time, garner their support, their prayers and their encouragement.

For little 4-month-old Jackson Tucker that encouragement will come by way of participating in a donor registry program being held at Nissan of Clinton on June 4, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., or by attending the June 3 Relay for Life and having a cheek swab done at that time.

The baby has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant, the only known cure for this precious child.

All donations are entered into a national database through Be The Match Registry, a leader in the field of marrow and cord blood transplants for people with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases. The prayer is that a perfect match for young Jackson can be found.

We urge those between the ages of 18 and 44 (those older can come but there is a fee involved to be checked) to give the 10 minutes it will take to have the test. That few minutes might be the answered prayer the Tucker family is anxiously awaiting. It might even be an answered prayer for someone else in need of marrow or cord blood.

And then there’s John Brown, who suffers from a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and is in desperate need of a liver transplant.

On May 27 a barbecue plate fundraiser will be held at Grove Park Baptist Church, 609 Northeast Blvd., Clinton, to raise money for the enormous expenses that come with such a transplant.

Brown and his wife Jackie have dedicated most of their lives to helping others. Today, they need our help. We hope that assistance will come, in the form of support for the fundraising dinner and by way of giving what you can toward the extremely expensive cost of medical bills and the life-saving surgery Brown needs .

There are countless others; more than we can mention on this page. Prayers are needed, support appreciated.

Time is of the essence.

We know this community and the tremendous heart that exists here, from one end of Sampson to the other. There’s never been a more important time than now to show that heart, helping others who have found themselves in positions they likely never expected.

For those of us blessed to be healthy, reaching out a helping hand to others is important, a way of showing supporting someone else and showing gratitude for things like health, friends and community that we so often take for granted.

Life can change in a moment. At those times, knowing we have support makes all the difference.

Please make that difference today in the lives of Tucker and John.

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