I have two brother's Fola (2yrs younger) and Ayo (7yrs younger). Yes, I'm the only girl! Growing up my brother's and I were extremely close. We were best friends but something happened on the way to change that. As we hit our adolescents we basically grew apart. Growing up in my household was hard (I could share my whole sob story but I won't).
My childhood was a bad one--leaving my family, more specifically my brother's and I to endure allot. In doing so my brother Fola dealt with things differently which led to our growing apart. My youngest brother Ayo and I though have been able to maintain that close knit bond that we developed in our youth. Over the years I've tried to get back that brother, sister, friend bond with my brother Fola but you can't go back in time and I can't take away the struggles that led us to where we are today.
When I was looking for a donor I thought beyond logic and I thought the brother I have the closest relationship (Ayo) would beyond a doubt be the match I so desperately needed. But to my surprise the name that came from my doctor wasn't Ayo but Fola and what she said next blew me away! Apparently, all they needed for me to find a match was 50% but my brother Fola was 100% match and 100% usually takes place with twins of whom my brother and I are not. So, I'm first thrown aback by which brother is my match and thankful I have a match at all but even more flabbergasted that Fola is a 100% match.
I know that there are no coincidences so it's definitely God at work and I've seen him at work in my brother and I's lives since finding out that he was the match. Since finding out he was a match, I do believe that Fola and I have gotten closer and that it was God's design to use this experience to not only strengthen our relationship but to reconnect us on a deeper level and to more importantly strengthen him as an individual.
Fola deciding without hesitation to do the transplant really touched me because I really wasn't sure what his decision would be but he has jumped at any and every opportunity to take tests, travel for blood-work, and he has opened himself to risks. So I write this blog in honor to my younger brother Fola who is in a major way saving my life. With the frequency and level of pain crises that I go through and at such a young age doctors have suggested that my quality of life would get worse and I may endure several organ failures and even death. This transplant is the only answer both the doctors and I have to the infinite number of questions my level of illness seems to bring up.
I am thankful that my brother Fola and I have more conversations. I'm grateful that upon finishing tests needed as a donor and heading back to New York that my brother now stops to encourage me that if I were to need anything at all I should call him. I'm truly grateful that my brother now out of the blue will call me just to see how I am and check up on my treatment when hospitalized. I am really and truly grateful that my brother Fola and I are no longer strangers in the same family but are growing together now rather than apart as we did years ago.
I want to encourage all of you to work on those relationships that were severed and meant allot to you because if you don't you will only continue to miss out on the love and friendship that individual can bring. I know for my brother and I, it took some time and it took my health reaching the end of its rope to begin bridging and rebuilding over that gap between us. It will take time but the important thing is that we're both working on it. I encourage you to do the same.