For the last couple of months Jess has been challenging people at church and in her circle to join up to volunteer to be a bone marrow donor. Caucasian Australians are not likely to be a match for Ishaaq, but she has been doing this as her effort in the fight against cancer. We heard her in church when she got up to tell people about the need for people to sign up and increase the registry of potential donors so that someone may be helped.
Jess signed up 48 persons between 20 and 40. On Tuesday, July 2, the staff of Red Cross set up camp in the St John's Anglican Church to do the collection of blood samples to do the testing. The staff would briefly inform batches of people what is involved immediately in terms of the collection and what it would involve later on if they were ever called up to donate. After that they would ask the recruits if they were willing to still be recruits and everyone said they were, even though some of the young people did look nervous. There were a few dropouts because of some emergent situation that they faced personally, but then there were a few who came along with their friends after hearing about it! Roshini made pakodas and Jess, Pam and other women from the church supplied cakes, cookies and chips to cheer people up.
Roshini, Elishba, Joe and i went to the church for about three hours to be with Jess and Ishaaq to affirm and support Jessica's drive. In this picture Jess and Joe stand in front of a sign on the glass wall at the back of the sanctuary which says that the odds of finding a match are very small but with God all things are possible.