Recently, I was on an extremely crowded 1 Train. Much more crowded than usual, the city being full of Holiday shoppers and visitors. By 14th Street we were already packed in tighter than sardines and I was headed to 214th! This was going to be a trying experience.
Just ten minutes before, I was waiting in another unusually crowded area, a Starbucks! I reached into my pocket to find my card and came across my Aplastic Anemia & MDS Awareness pin instead. I hadn’t yet put in on the lapel of my new coat. I affixed my pin, grabbed my coffee and headed to the train. At the time, it seemed an insignificant thing.
Back on the train, I was keeping to myself. Doing my best not to make eye or ANY OTHER kind of contact! The train was that crowded! I heard the dreaded words “Excuse me miss”, in my right ear. I could only imagine the conversation that was about to ensue. All kinds of crazy people LOVE to talk to me.
I turned my head politely and saw a well dressed, well kept man smiling at me. He asked “What is Aplastic Anemia?”. I told him all about my brave young friend AJ Garreffi. I told him how only 1 or 2 people of a million get this disease a year. We talked about how scary it is when our kids get sick and I felt a familiar pang for Steph and Tony.
We were quickly approaching Columbus Circle, his stop. I told the gentlemen that he was the first person to ask and thanked for the opportunity to raise awareness.
He laughed and said “Well, it’s not everyday you get to stand so close to someone that you can read their fine print.”