|Meredith Prescott and her best friends|
Today is September 27th,. For almost anybody, this day is another day or a date you look past once its over. But to me this day is monumental and will continue to be remembered. Today is ITP day, a day dedicated to spread awareness and honor the lives that have been taken due to a rare and cruel blood disorder. Today marks the 10-month anniversary of when I was diagnosed. Today marks one of the most crucial blood tests at the hospital that I will draw as I have been fortunate to be weaning off the medicine, but today’s test will determine which direction I will go. The irony from day one of my journey still stands strong.
As I look back over these past 10 months, I cannot believe how much has changed but how fortunate I am regardless of all the challenges I have had to overcome.
While many of us at 22 would say their biggest accomplishments are graduating from college, getting their first job, or starting a graduate program, mine is far from that. While those are all great accomplishments and should never be underestimated for anyone, those mean an ounce to me compared to what was accomplished on August 11th.
When I think about perspective and life, helping people and giving back to others are the most important values of mine. After writing my first blog post on a whim, which took off with over 6,000 views in just over a week, I knew I was capable of making a difference. I wrote it as a preface for the walk/fundraiser and wanted to utilize my energy into something positive.
|The organizers of the walk/festival|
I am grateful to have grown up in Livingston, NJ. The community itself along with its residents were beyond incredible by supporting this walk in multiple capacities.
The town along with many others showed up with over 200 people to walk and participated in the festival, which included the slides, eating, and the silent auction. The town let us use the highschool’s oval for a few hours and provided security and police. Local businesses were beyond generous by supplying food, prizes for the silent auction, and a slide.
I gave my first real speech in my life, which I never thought I was capable of doing, since I wouldn’t even take communication class in college because I was so afraid of public speaking. Strangers I had never met showed up to the walk and donated and were so excited to hear about something different and unique. It offered perspective to others and people with ITP were so thankful that this day happened and although many couldn’t make it because not many are from my area, they felt encouraged to start a fundraiser in there area. Some patients came locally and were shocked and so excited to actually see something being done for ITP. Many from all over the country contacted me thanking me and were so happy that to see more being done. My doctor, Dr. Bussel, a top doctor in the world, spoke along with the organization director. He had never been to any walk or fundraiser for ITP before, as his office was beyond stunned that this actually happened. The mayor of my town came and Livingston was a united community on August 11th.
|Dr. Bussell, the Mayor of Livingston, Nancy (PDSA) and Alan Karpas|
I’ll leave you with one last story that shows the impact of the walk, being an advocate and speaking up about ITP. One of my closest friends was wearing the purple sport bracelet this week that I handed out at the walk to give to all the participants. She wears it everyday and often explains what it is when people ask. She was working for an oral surgeon at the office and decided to check the fax machine. She never does that, but the secretary was ironically out so she figured she would. She picked up a blood result sheet and decided to look at the platelets. They said 3. She immediately knew that that wasn’t the normal range because of me and ITP and this whole experience,. She called the doctor who was at the hospital, and he immediately called the patient and sent him to the emergency room. The patient originally came in for blood blisters in his mouth but had some bruising, thinking it was a dental related issue not realizing the severity of what was occurring. Hours later my best friend was told she saved his life and the doctor thanked her. Every minute matters, every choice matters matters, and every decision matters. I am grateful that my friends are so supportive, intelligent and realize how essential it is that people understand this so lives are not taken due to lack of knowledge by both the public and medical community. Sport purple forever.