Nov
0

Finding YOUR Inspiration

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles

“Each person’s  life is like the pattern of a mosaic. Each thing that happened to you is like one tiny stone in the mosaic and each tiny stone fits into the perfected pattern of the mosaic of your life which has been designed by God. I pray that I may trust the designer.”- Hazelden’s Classic

Today at work I had an incredibly stimulating conversation with a co-worker. We talked about the ups and downs of life, living with the fear of the unknown and how everything in life happens for a reason. Sometimes life throws you curve balls and often times when you are least expecting it. In the end we came to the conclusion that life is about taking risks, don’t be afraid to jump right in!  

I found extreme inspiration and comfort today in the most unexpected  of  places. For me life is about taking that inspiration and sharing it with others. When you are having a rough day and you feel like giving up just remember, NOTHING ever stays the same! Inspiration is all around you, if you look you will see it!

Natalie Curry

Aug
0

The power of DREAMING

Have you ever been so happy that your heart feels like it is on fire? Have you ever smiled so much that your face gets stuck with a smile from ear to ear? Have you ever been so happy that you just can’t make your feet stand still? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you know the feeling I’m describing! It’s that feeling you get when words can’t express the emotion you feel at that very moment.

Lately I have been feeling especially blessed in my life and I wanted to share this feeling. I believe that laughter is contagious, love can go a long way and that a smile can melt a heart. Everyday should be seen as a gift and NOTHING should be taken for granted.

Now of course I’m not invincible and I have those days too. Those days where everything seems to go wrong and you just feel like giving up. It’s in these moments you learn, and grow into a stronger person. Don’t see these times as a road block to your destination but rather a minor detour.

Never in my life have I felt more passionate about what exactly I was meant to do with my life than I do now. In my heart I  have always believed that the reason I made it through so many medical challenges was to help people. Now that I know how I can do that I feel over whelmed with the  perseverance to make it possible.

It is my dream to help others by increasing the knowledge of cord blood preservation. It is my dream that everyone gets their chance, that they get their chance to feel that magic that comes with making their dreams come true.

I want to know what your  dreams are! Send me a message and let me know what your dreaming of!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Aug
1

“Health Insurance should be a RIGHT not a FIGHT”-Senator Kennedy

Senator Kennedy

Senator Kennedy

Sadly our country lost a great man yesterday and the Kennedy family has suffered yet another tragic loss. Senator Kennedy was a good man and a great politician. He stood for so many important things but most importantly he stood for the equality of the American people. He believed that every American was entitled to health insurance. He felt that there should be no discriminating factors that could determine ones right to receiving health insurance.

Anyone who has ever been to a see a doctor or just had simple blood work done knows how tough health insurance companies can be. For me I can especially relate since it has been a constant battle my entire life. When Mom and Dad were making preparations for my cord blood transplant in the late 80′s my insurance claim was denied OVER and OVER again. The insurance companies stated that since “I wasn’t on my death bed”, yet, it wasn’t necessary for me to have a transplant so they kept denying to pay.  Without a transplant I was going to die, it was only a matter of time. My parents refused to take “no” for an answer, so they hired an attorney to fight a legal battle with the insurance company. The insurance company ended up paying for a portion of my transplant. With the help of close family and friends mom and dad got the funding they needed to make my transplant successful.

Unfortunately many people are not as lucky as I was. Many of them die fighting the battle against their insurance companies because they run out of time and succumb to their illness. 

Cord Blood banking is not yet being covered by insurance companies. However the good news is that now some insurance companies are beginning to consider covering cord blood banking. Hopefully in the near future many insurance companies will be able to provide families with assistance in banking their child’s cord blood.

As the late great senator Kennedy said “Insurance should be a
right NOT a Fight!”

You opinions are VERY important to me, please let me know your thoughts.

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Aug
1

Can you hear me? Cord blood treats hearing loss!

Imagine not knowing the sound of running water!

Imagine not knowing the sound of running water!

 Today when you walk outside you will likely hear the sound of cars or the sound of people passing by or the sound of the door closing behind you. These are all sounds that you hear and don’t even realize it. But sadly for many people if they heard these sounds they wouldn’t recognize them.  To them these sounds are not real.

My entire life I suffered from hearing loss in both of my ears.  I tried for years to wear hearing aids, but  never had much luck with them.  When  they weren’t falling out they were causing a distracting beeping noise that you could hear across the room. School was difficult because I heard about 50% of what teachers said and understood about 20% of that.  Hearing became a struggle in many aspects of my life. By the time I was three years old I learned how to read peoples lips.  This is a skill that I relied heavily on for the majority of my life.

I had surgery on my right ear when I was 10 years old in hopes of improving my hearing. Sadly the surgery was unsuccessful and the recovery was anything but smooth. Imgaine having a tooth ache and an ear infection that won’t go away and that it is what it felt like.  I was extremely disappointed but did not given up hope that someday something would work.

In 2004 when I was 19 years old, the time had finally arrived.  My doctor surgically placed a tiny screw into my skull behind my right ear.  Three months later I attached a small device called a BAHA to the screw. The BAHA can be easily removed and works for both ears. With the BAHA I have near perfect hearing.

Dad went with me to the Doctors office and he nearly cried when we both realized that the new procedure had worked.  It was one of the most amazing days of my life. I will never forget the feeling I had the first time I actually heard what running water sounded like, or the sound of footsteps and the sound of birds chirping.  I didn’t realize how bad my hearing loss was until I could hear everything.

There are nearly 250 million people world wide who suffer from some form of deafness. Unfortunately there is no cure for deafness. The EXCITING NEWS is that recently scientist have begun research using stem cells to cure deafness.  This research is in the very early stages but has been showing very promising signs!

Just thinking about all of the miracles stem cells can provide gives me chills.  The richest form of stem cells can be found in a babies umbilical cord blood.  There is no reason why people shouldn’t save the cord blood. It is discarded as medical waste and is NOT in any way harmful to the mother or child. By saving it you could be saving a life or giving someone a chance to see or hear.

Next time you hear the sound of a loved ones voice saying “I love you” or you hear your favorite song on the radio, imagine what it would feel like to not hear it.

PLEASE HELP ME spread the word about the importance of cord blood preservation!! You CAN HELP by tweeting on twitter, updating your status on facebook and telling everyone you know!

Together We CAN Help save lives,

Natalie Curry

Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterbri/367973928/

Jul
0

“The Dull Razor”

Over the last couple of months, I have been writing  a book about my families couragous medical journeys and how cord blood saved my life.  Now  I have something very exciting that I’d like to share with you.  The following is part of one of the many stories that will be in the book!

-The Shaving Day-

 ……………One afternoon while grandma was with me, a nurse came into my laminair flow room holding only a sterile but dull razor.  She had come to shave  all of my hair off.  I remember sitting in the middle of my hospital  bed with tears rolling down my face while grandma held on to me tight. I wasn’t afraid or sad, I was in pain. My scalp began to feel like it was on fire! As grandma watched pieces of my dark hair hit the ground she felt sorrow in that she couldn’t ease the pain it was causing. The burning presisted long after all of my hair was gone.  A few days prior I had received a low dose of Chemo therapy to treat the bad cells in my blood.  In an effort to prevent  having  my hair gradually fall out,  the nurses felt it best to shave it off.

When Dad arrived at the hospital later and noticed what had happened, he was extremely angry! He was upset that no one had infomed him they were going to shave my head.  Not only that, but he was even more furious that they didn’t use any shaving cream or water.  He confronted the nursing and staff and as he says ”They understood all of my AMERICAN curse words!” In the days following the shaving I developed a rash on my head.  Dad says I looked just as cute with a bald head.  But that seeing it reinforced that everything was really happening.  He wanted me to have a normal childhood and knew that he had to keep a positive attitude and that one day I would………………

 More of this story and many others can be found in the completed book.

July is Cord Blood Awareness month. Together we can help save lives! You can help by tweeting on titter, updating your status on facebook and spreading the word to everyone you know!

Your opinions are very important to me.  I welcome you to share your thoughts!  This is just part of my story! I am working on writing my book now and hope to be finished within the next few months.

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Jul
2

Alarming news for Minorities Representation in Cord Blood!

Since the development of Cord blood banks in 1989, several people have reaped the amazing rewards they have to offer! Many, many lives have been saved and the research completed has been extremely promising. Awareness is  without a doubt the greatest obstacle to the expansion of cord blood banking. However also among these obstacles is that  banks all over the world have an alarmingly low number of cord blood units  available to represent minorities.

Highly underrepresented:

  • Asian
  • African American
  • Hispanic
  • Mixed Ethnicities

Did you know that Caucasians have a 50% better chance at finding a donor through the national marrow program? For others the chance can drop to below 15%!  There are a few major reasons for these staggering statistics.  One of the biggest reasons is that the minorities listed above  have a larger variation of HLA types found in there blood than Caucasians. “What is HLA types?”, you ask? An HLA type is what makes each individuals blood unique. It is the determining factor used when looking for a donor.  So when minorities, especially with a mixed background, are searching for a donor, the odds of finding a match are much higher.

I think it’s safe to say, that this is a major problem!  The solution is simple! We need to raise awareness of cord blood preservation and increase bone marrow registrations. Everyone deserves a fighting chance! There is NO better time than right now! July is Cord Blood Awareness month..together we can spread the word!

 You can help by:  Tweeting on twitter, updating your status on facebook and sharing this valuable news with everyone you know!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

Jul
3

You tell me WHY and I'll tell you HOW

Mom and I having lunch on NYC

Mom and I having lunch in NYC

“Those who have a strong enough WHY can bear almost any HOW.”- Tony Robbins

When doctors told me I had  to have a kidney transplant. When they told me on more than one occasion that I needed to have biopsy’s to check for cancer or when they told me  that I needed to have surgery on both of my knees and that  my dancing days were over,  I did not ask “why”? When I found out that Emily was putting her life at risk to save mine and my heart was crushed with fear for her, I did not ask “why”?   I never questioned why things happened to me, I always thought that everything happened for a reason. I feel like everything I have been through medicaly was so that other people wouldn’t have to suffer. With every procedure I had done, I thought to myself at least this is happening to me and not to someone else.This attitude has helped  me reflect upon my experiences as experiences that make me stronger.    

 I REFUSE  to allow  my medical problems to  control my life, because I have so many dreams. I REFUSE to give up.  WHY? Because I want to make a difference.  I want to have a family.  I want to see the world.  I want to be able to talk to my mom and dad everyday and I want to see my sister’s accomplish great things. I have learned that when you want something bad enough, you will do anything to figure out  HOW to make it happen!

I have many things I hope to accomplish in my lifetime. One thing is; I want to help give others a chance to fight for their dreams. With your help, we can make a difference…..July is Cord Blood Awareness month please  help me spread the word about this incredible life saving resource!

Jun
18

My Sister's Keeper…..The TRUE story!

My Keepers....Audrey and Emily!

My Keepers....Audrey and Emily!

This weekend is the release of the much  anticipated movie, “My Sister’s Keeper”. The movie is based on the very popular book, “My Sister’s Keeper” written by Jodi Picoult. This story is very close to my story, the only difference; mine is TRUE! If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if “My Sister’s Keeper”  was based on my family’s story I’d be a millionaire by now!!  ”My Sister’s Keeper” is practicaly IDENTICAL to our story :

  • The main character and I were both terminally ill at a young age. We both suffered from renal failure and blood disaeases.
  • We were both lucky enough to have  parents that would do anything to keep us alive!
  • We both had countless surgeries.

BUT the biggest difference is that my sister Emily was not genetically designed , she was a miracle.  She was born a complete match, not by science but by pure chance. She never complained or even hesitated to help, and thats what makes her a true hero! She was destined to be my keeper, and when I count my blessings I count her twice!   Both stories have one huge underlying theme: family.  Without a strong, close and loving family, I wouldn’t be here today!

“My Sisters courage”, my “Mothers strength” and “my Fathers hope” are the words that run across the screen during the previews for the film. Every time I see this, I feel a tug at my heart strings.  I can’t help but feel very emotional! It is a very bittersweet feeling: I feel happy that more people will be educated on these issues, while  at the same time ,I feel a little disappointment that more people won’t realize how real this is.

There will be THINGS  in life that’ll make you happy, TIMES in life you will  never forget, but it’s the PEOPLE in your life that will  ALWAYS matter the most!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

May
4

Wishful thinking or Destiny?

sweet revenge

Justin, me, Jeff and Mom at Sweet Revenge in NYC.....enjoying amazing cupcakes!

 

 

Earlier this week while I was on my lunch break I read a very touching newspaper article that my dad mailed to me. It was a story about a little girl who suffers from A plastic anemia and is now recovering.  Her wish was to attend the Kentucky Derby and Oaks horse races. Thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation her dreams came true. I was very inspired by her amazing story. I was once again reminded how much I want to help sick children and there families.

I feel like I’m doing what I can, but it’s not enough! I am very confident that my purpose in life is to help others especially children and those going through medical obstacles. Sometimes I get frustrated that I can’t do more, and that I can’t just reach out to all of them and give them hope. I am constantly brainstorming on ways that I can make a widespread impact. Every time I end up with the same answer, a book.  And though I am pursuing that avenue as aggressively as possible I almost feel like there’s something I’m just missing.  Something that I’m so close to I can feel it!

I don’t know……. it’s a hard feeling to describe but it’s deep in my heart. Sometimes I begin to wonder if I am just dreaming too big of dream. It’s hard to tell if it’s just wishful thinking or if it really is my destiny?! One thing is for sure, I will NOT give up!

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

May
1

Nice Note

natalie and Emily

Emily and I on her 21st Birthday

Natalie, I just wanted to tell you directly how much your story inspired and amazed me. And how strong you were at such a young age. And i’m sure you hear that everyday but i truly think your story is amazing.

 What Emily did is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. People keep asking me what I’m writing for my paper and I keep telling them about this really cool story about how a little sister saved her older sisters life. It is the craziest story I have ever heard.

Last night when I was checking my Facebook, I was pleased to find the above note in my inbox! It was sent to me by a high school senior who is writing a research paper about Stem Cells. I had a long conversation with her and was very happy to find out how interested she was in stem cells and all the potential that they have.

She is the second person I know this year who has done a project for school about stem cells/cord blood! This makes me very excited to know that more and more people are learning about this topic.

Together We CAN Help Save Lives,

Natalie Curry

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