Church answers the call to save a life

Posted April 4th, 2011 by Be The Match and filed in Donor Stories, News
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Bishop Johnson of Atlanta's Metro churchWhen Bishop Flynn Johnson first built the Atlanta Metropolitan Cathedral, he was asked, “Do you want a pile of bricks or do you want a family?” Bishop Johnson didn’t hesitate in answering, “I want a family.” And as a family, they were ready to respond when one of their members needed a marrow transplant.

A healing community

Bishop Flynn and his congregation created his church as a helping community, a serving community, a healing community.

When Franco, one of the church leaders, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, Bishop Johnson confesses, “I felt a little helpless at first. His family was in crisis, so we were all in pain.” Franco’s only hope was a marrow transplant.

The power to help

“I believe the first step is awareness,” explains the Bishop. “Many people did not understand there are people sitting right here in the congregation who could have the answer for somebody’s life. Once Franco’s wife Erma explained there were things we could do, there was an immediate response. (Read Erma and Franco’s story.)

“We brought a speaker in from Be The Match® to explain what we could do to help. Then we held donor drives right here. Everyone started registering.

“When a donor was found on the registry for Franco, we were ecstatic! The people exploded with praise and clapping and shouts. You know what it feels like to be a hero? Well, this is a shot any church member has at being a hero. Someone could say, ‘You know what? It was part of my life that saved someone else’s life.’ ”

You don’t have to know people to be a blessing to them

“I think people want to break into life. People want to make a difference. This is another way we can touch other lives. You don’t have to know people to be a blessing to them.”

Faith-based communities of all kinds have the power to touch lives and to make a difference. Watch Bishop Johnson and leaders from other faiths share the ways their communities have gotten involved with Be The Match – and how yours can, too.

Contact us to engage your own faith-based community in a donor recruitment campaign.

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