On the 3rd of August during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Portuguese unrelated donor collected peripheral blood stem cells to an adult patient with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. These lifesaving cells travelled thousands of kilometres and arrived safely and in good conditions. On his own motivation, he decided to write a letter to his recipient, sending hope and sharing human values. According to CEDACE (Portuguese donor registry) rules, donors and patients cannot know each other, but they can exchange anonymous messages and this is a good example of this kind gesture.
Letter from donor to recipient
Yes! I call you unknown because I do not know your name, where you live, your daily routine, your sports preferences, your religious options, and none of other details of your life. Probably it will be like this in the future, which I hope that will be long for both of us.
Please do not get me wrong but, considering your incognito profile, I will from now on call you Humanity. On one hand, if I come across you I will not be able to recognize you, even though you can be any citizen of the world; on the other hand, calling you this way, I do it with trust in what distinguishes us from other living beings: the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, understanding their needs and getting satisfaction with the answer provided.
So, dear Humanity, let me tell you that when I was contacted, despite the pandemic situation, I did not hesitate even for a second to move forward, because I believe in you, Humanity. I have hope in the highest values of humankind shared by donors worldwide that certainly will help in case I need.
Almost four months have elapsed since the day I shared with you a little bit of me, and I really hope that you are in good health and you can completely recover near the ones who are dearest to you. During all this time, I was clearly convinced that I received much more than I gave. The feeling of accomplishment that I have today is unbeatable; the satisfaction of having contributed to your recovery is inexplicable; and the gratitude I received from this experience is immeasurable. These feelings allow me to inspire others for this volunteer act and to maintain this important solidarity cycle. We are the main actors, proclaiming the hope and trust in the humanity.
I wish you all the best and a long life!
From your unknown donor, who you can also call Humanity!