My Friend Mick on Day 0 – a special midweek RFL


This is a special mid-week RFL inspired by Mick McKellar. Actually, it’s all Mick. He had a complete bone marrow transplant on Monday at the Mayo Clinic, and the next day wrote the spectacular intro and poem he’s let me paste below. At the time he wrote it, he could hardly hold liquids down, yet somehow found the strength and inspiration to pen this. Amazing.

I added a post script (p.s.) about Mick to Monday’s RFL, which said that I’ll give all proceeds from the sale of Be Real this week to Mick, to help defray some of the enormous costs of his treatment and (nine different) medications.  About 50 people did so.  Thanks!   When you read what he’s written you’ll see something of why I so admire him.

Keep leading with your best self,


An epic battle is underway in my body, and I am rooting for my home team to lose! When the process is complete, my blood DNA will be my brother’s, yet my tissue will be my own or some admixture of the two. Crazy huh? It boggles the imagination that my brother, Kevin’s gift is the only way left for me to survive beyond a few months. I grew up in a time when leukemia was a death sentence from which there was no parole, no pardon.

Well, yesterday was Day 0, the day my brother’s stem cells and T-cells took up residence in my blood stream. As with most visits from relatives, the initial meeting was cordial and friendly. However, after the discovery that the visit is a permanent one, struggles over storage space, sleeping quarters, and who gets the remote were bound to begin. There will be conflicts with the neighbors, but mediators are being sent in to help keep conflict to appropriate levels. Eventually, it is hoped that all will become friends and learn to live together.

And as a nice side-effect, I get to live longer. Today is Day +1, what a grand thought and what a wonder to be grateful to one’s own brother for!

Mick Day 0

Imagine you hold a great gift of life,
Imagine that it is a part of you.
Though granting that gift cause you pain and strife,
Imagine that you do what you must do .
What love has a brother for another.
But simply to put his whole life on hold?
What love has another for a brother,
Who gives him his one chance at growing old?
Though ties of birth often weaken with years,
And distance creates a weakening span,
The family ties will bridge fears and tears,
And the younger man saves the elder man.
His sacrifice left us, most certainly,
Joined closely as brothers could ever be.

Mick McKellar
February 2011