Sometimes the stars align, and things go exactly as they are supposed to go. That’s how I felt last night at IgniteOKC.
I applied to be an Ignite presenter back in September, and was honestly a little shocked when my talk about the importance of becoming a stem cell donor was selected. This year, Ignite OKC was the official after party of the State of Creativity Forum. What is creative about stem cell donation? Not much.
Regardless, I had a story to tell. I feel fortunate to have been given a platform to tell my community about my friend Laura, about my brother and about how their diseases have shaped my life. I had five minutes to convince a room of over 200 people that I knew what I was talking about. I also had an auto advancing slideshow running behind me. 20 slides, changing every 15 seconds.
My heart was pounding out of my chest as I stood backstage last night. I ran the first couple sentences over and over in my head….knowing that if I could get those right, my memory would take care of the rest. And it did. I delivered my presentation as well as I could have hoped.
Walking back to my seat, I felt so good. I was buzzing with adrenaline and with the love and energy that the audience had thrown back at me. The buzz continued into intermission when I was welcomed into the arms of some of my closest friends. I got hugs, I saw teary eyes, I got compliments, high fives and lots of hand shakes.
A real life bone marrow donor (he’s given twice) tapped me on the shoulder and thanked me for the speech. And when I thought life couldn’t get any better, a real life bone marrow recipient introduced himself. His leukemia was cured by a donor from the national registry.
I believe that the sparks of good you throw out into the world come back to you. This exchange is not usually instantaneous, but it felt that way for me last night. What a rush!
The IgniteOKC crew recorded the presentations, and I hope to share mine here soon.
Be the Match,
photo credits to @eblakejackson